ROYSTON resident Tom Hicks celebrated his 99th birthday on Tuesday but he has no plans to hang his tennis racket up just yet.

Tom, of East End Crescent, plays his beloved sport three times a week at Notton Tennis Club where he has been a member for more than 40 years.

He drives the short journey from Royston to Notton all year round, no matter what the weather, and he’s set his sights on playing a game or two on his 100th birthday next year.

“I’ve always led an active lifestyle,” Tom, a former steam engine driver, told the Chronicle. “I enjoy the fresh air and being with friends, so I’ll never stop playing tennis.”

At the outbreak of the Second World War, Tom, whose life story is told in a book called Captured at Arnhem, left the railway and volunteered to join the Parachute Regiment.

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He joined the 1st Parachute Squadron of the Royal Engineers and was captured when he fought at Arnhem and spent many months in a prisoner of war camp in Germany.

Although he’s lived a full life, tennis has always been something he’s been fond of and the keen gardener has no plans to sit in front of the television.

“It’s a sport I’ve always loved and I’ve played since I was a youngster.

“If I stopped playing, that’s when I’d start to feel my age, but keeping fit and healthy comes with playing tennis.”