GOLF: Belton Park’s King tees off on his 95th birthday

Ninety-five-year-old Harry King, son Jeff and grandson James are pictured with Belton Park match committee chairman Stewart Boylan. Photo: Nic Banner
Ninety-five-year-old Harry King, son Jeff and grandson James are pictured with Belton Park match committee chairman Stewart Boylan. Photo: Nic Banner
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Belton Park Golf Club publicity officer Nic Banner met the club’s most senior playing member, Harry King, on the occasion of his 95th birthday on Friday.

Harry, who has recently been awarded honorary member status at the club, is a long-standing member of Belton Park GC and was born in Nottingham on June 30, 1922. Living more recently in Sedgebrook and Grantham, Harry plays golf every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

“The only problem I have,” said Harry, “is that my playing partner, who is younger than me, keeps crying off.”

He joined the RAF at the tender age of 18 in 1940, and soon became a rear gunner on a Vickers Wellington. Having served in India, Cairo, Italy and Tripoli, amongst many other locations, Harry progressed through the ranks, ending his career as a captain aboard a B-24 Liberator 1.

Many years after Harry finished his military service, his war records were found in the wreckage of an old and decommissioned Wellington aircraft.

Living locally for only six months of the year due to his wife’s medical condition, Mr and Mrs King spent the summers travelling to the Mediterranean to find warmer climes.

Towing a Cavalier caravan, the couple travelled from Lincolnshire to Portsmouth to catch the Bilbao ferry and then headed down through northern Spain to Portugal and beyond. Such was Harry’s notoriety on his travels, he was made president of the Cavalier Caravan Club.

Typically Harry spent his birthday playing golf. “Well, it is Friday you know,” he quipped, with his still cheeky smile.

Harry was joined at Belton Park by his son Jeff and grandson James. “I didn’t play very well,” he said, “but we had a lot of fun.”

After the golf, Harry hosted a lunch for a few family and friends. He was presented with the club’s History of Belton Park Golf Club book as a memento of the day.

If you feel that you can keep up with Harry, he says that he is always happy to play a round of golf with new people, any Monday, Wednesday or Friday, for an 8.30am tee-off. You cannot miss Harry. He is the one with a cheeky grin who looks about 55.

The last line went to Harry: “I look forward to seeing you in five years when I can say howdy to the Queen.”