AN ELLESMERE Port woman celebrated her 100th birthday on Monday by having a flutter on the horses.

Margaret Hannon, of Victoria Road, is a regular at Ladbrokes betting shop in Marina Drive, where she puts on her daily 45p patent bets at 45p.

Manager Paula Cooper said: “She’s been a customer here for as long as I can remember and she’s such a lovely lady.”

Margaret, who has two children and three grandchildren, was born in Carlow, Ireland, and married her late husband Thomas in the 1940s.

She once worked as a cook in a number of foreign embassies in Ireland before moving to Ellesmere Port.

The eldest and sole survivor of eight siblings, she is well known for her strength of character and cheeky sense of humour and jokes that her long life should be kept a secret.

She said: “God doesn’t know I’m still here, so don’t tell him!”

As well as her daily flutter, Margaret likes to keep active by watching her favourite shows on television and catching up with all the local gossip.

He biggest win was £352, which was the first bet she placed after returning from a pilgrimage to Lourdes.

More than 100 family and friends attended a Mass at Our Lady’s Church, followed by a party at the Parish Centre.

Her son Patrick said: “Although she didn’t qualify for a letter from the Queen, she was thrilled to receive a letter from Irish President Mary McAleese as well as a card from Secretary of State Iain Duncan Smith.”