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Last Updated: Friday, 16 June 2006, 23:56 GMT 00:56 UK
Rugby star, 91, honoured by Queen
Desmond Pastore
Mr Pastore says he is looking forward to meeting the Queen
A 91-year-old rugby player said he was "very proud" to be awarded an MBE in the Queen's birthday honours.

Desmond Pastore played on the wing for Chester and set a try-scoring record for Sale. He played his last game on his 91st birthday.

"It came as a great surprise," he said. "I'm looking forward to meeting the Queen - she is such a charming woman."

Mr Pastore's 75-year career included a job as captain of the England services side after the Second World War.

He then returned to the North West to join Sale. Mr Pastore played his final game for Manchester club Egor in September 2005.

"They let me on for half an hour and I scored a try," he said.

He started at scrum half, but in a back line that included Wales captain Claude Davey, Scotland skipper Ken Fyffe and England captain Joe Mycock, his pace marked him out for a move to the wing.

Veteran player

Mr Pastore even devised a system where the colour of the players' shorts indicated their age.

He said it helped veteran rugby players, as he himself wore purple shorts, indicating to the other players not to commit full contact tackles.

The bachelor attributes his long life to his parents, and the fact that he never married. He plays tennis three times a week, and said he never thought about not playing.

"It never occurred to me not to play," he said.

"I was fit, and I was wanted, so there seemed to me no point in not playing."

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