A KEEN cricketer and golfer who spent much of his Navy career as a boxer has celebrated his 100th birthday at his Poole care home.

Ron Parker, who once rubbed shoulders with golfing legends Steve Ballesteros and Sir Nick Faldo, was delighted to be surrounded by friends and family for his big day at Upton Manor Care Home.

He was especially thrilled to receive a card from King Charles III and Queen Camilla.

The former skilled fitter and turner served in the Royal Navy during the Second World War.

Ron has always been inspired by sport, and during his time in the Navy, he represented the service as a lightweight boxer and was also regularly chosen to open the batting with the officers in their regular cricket matches.

Later, he became a well-respected player in the Airedale and Wharfedale Senior Cricket League in West Yorkshire and was chosen to play in the same team as three Yorkshiremen who went on to captain England - Sir Len Hutton, Ray Illingworth and Brian Close.

His son Stuart said: “Ron may be small in stature but is a very big man - and my dad.”

After his cricket days ended, Ron took up golf, which became another sport in which he excelled.

Daughter Lynn added: “Always known as a late starter, he did very well, having been a member at local Broadstone Golf Club for over 50 years.

“Dad won many accolades over the years, and his greatest achievement was winning a national annual competition with his then employer.

“He tried for several years to win this competition, and as a pensioner at the age of 68, he finally managed it!

“At the celebration dinner, he was flanked on one side by the great Seve Ballesteros and on the other by Sir Nick Faldo.”

Ron married Betty in June 1945 and was with her for 73 years, receiving a congratulatory card from the Queen on their 70th wedding anniversary.

Upton Manor Wellbeing Coach Amy Morrison said: “It is a privilege to have Ron living here, it’s also a huge pleasure.

“Happy birthday, Ron!”