A SPORTY pensioner could be the oldest footballer in town as he prepares to celebrate his 70th birthday.

Len Ainsley of Cricklade still plays competitive five-a-side football every Tuesday and Saturday with friends. He’s the oldest player in the team while the youngest is 21.

He said: “I still play reasonably well and have always tried to keep fit and active. Along with the fitness aspect, it's the social side of football that I really love.

"All through my career, we've been very sociable players. We always have a good time, go for a beer after the match and make sure to keep playing regularly- how else would we see each other?

"I’ve been playing since I was at school. I played 11-a-side for Plessey Semiconductors, the old Swindon’s college, and for Cricklade Town Football Club.

“When age took upon us, a few of my teammates said we should carry on playing so we formed a group of 18 and called ourselves The Vets and Wrecks - I fit into both categories!"

Born in Surrey Road, Len moved to Cricklade after marrying his wife of 47 years in 1972. He set up his own PAT testing business, ran the London Marathon and enjoys a bit of DIY around the house.

His hour-long birthday match in Cricklade Leisure Centre will kick off at 2pm today.

He will then head home with friends and family for a barbecue and more celebrations later that afternoon, though he will actually reach his seventh decade on Sunday.

Len added: "It's a friendly match, we're not trying to break each other's legs or anything, but we're still quite competitive and we take it seriously even though there's nothing at stake if we win or lose."

Len’s son Andy Ainsley, 43, said: “He’s been playing football since he was a child in different teams and in management.

“He had a hip replacement operation last year but that didn’t deter him. It’s incredible. I’m struggling to keep up, he’s outdoing me and I’m much younger than him.”