HIGH Wycombe legend Monty Seymour was “living in a dream” as the town turned out to celebrate his century.
It was standing room only at Adams Park as hundreds of people packed into the Vere Suite on Sunday to mark the 100th birthday of the man who’s president of both the High Wycombe branch of the Royal British Legion and Wycombe Wanderers Football Club.
The Second World War hero was greeted with a rousing chorus of Happy Birthday and a round of applause as he entered the room, before being handed his card from the Queen.
People who know Mr Seymour from all walks of life – from the Royal British Legion, Wycombe Wanderers, the Wycombe Guarantors, Rotary Club and the Charter Trustees – queued up to pay their tributes to the centenarian and tell stories about him.
Former Wanderers manager Brian Lee had the audience in fits of laughter recalling how Mr Seymour was given a ride in a police car to catch up with the team bus after it left him behind at the ground following the 1975 FA Cup tie at Middlesbrough, before saying: “Monty is a gentleman, and a very generous gentleman.”
Lesley Clarke, on behalf of the Wycombe Charter Trustees, said: “What a remarkable achievement and what a remarkable man.
“Monty was, and still is, passionate about the town of High Wycombe, Wanderers, and the Royal British Legion. He’s a model constituent who’s passionate about the town where he lives.
“One hundred years not out – well done, and here’s to many more.”
Mr Seymour – who was made an honorary Burgess of the town in 2002, the highest honour the mayor can hand out – then took the microphone himself to thank everyone who had attended his birthday bash.
He said: “I feel so grateful for all the organisations of High Wycombe who’ve worked together to make possible this amazing assembly in honour of my 100th birthday. I feel very humbled by all the things that are being said – they can’t all be true.
“It’s been a wonderful town and I have had such a wonderful day. To see all you people here makes me humbler than ever.”
No fewer than 35 members of his family attended and daughter Jackie Rysdale said: “He said he’s living in a dream today.
“I’m absolutely amazed how many people are here. It’s been such a wonderful day and we are grateful to everybody.”
He was given a specially engraved knife with which to cut his birthday cake by town clerk Bill Reid, while former Wanderers chairman Ivor Beeks gave him a club shirt with the number 100 printed on the back.