Keeping fit a way of life for 92-year-old Dorothy

Dorothy with brother Gordon Fairhurst, right, and Pauline Astbury, left, owner of Apple Fitness.

Dorothy with brother Gordon Fairhurst, right, and Pauline Astbury, left, owner of Apple Fitness.

A Wigan gym hosted a surprise party last week for a “one in a million” member who celebrated her 92nd birthday.

Fitness fanatic Dorothy Bentham arrived for a workout but was met by friends and family who had arranged the celebration in secret.

Just live everyday and if you can’t say anything nice don’t say anything at all

Dorothy Bentham

Dorothy, of Billinge Road, Pemberton, is a regular at Apple Fitness Limited and told the Observer there was no secret to being so active through her 90s.

She said: “Just live everyday and if you can’t say anything nice don’t say anything at all.

“I come to the gym four times a week, I think it’s an absolutely wonderful place, it’s fantastic.

“I can’t believe what happened, I was overwhelmed, it was a very nice surprise with all the balloons and they gave me a beautiful bouquet of flowers. It was absolutely wonderful, everybody is so friendly.”

Dorothy was born in Standish but has lived in the Pemberton and Newtown area since the 1950s.

Along with her late husband Sydney, she owned the Bentham’s fish and chip shop on Victoria Street for 26 years before retiring.

Her brother Gordon Fairhurst celebrates his 90th birthday next year and he is also a regular at the gym, showing that being active in later life must run in the family.

Apple Fitness, based on Ormskirk Road, provides a range of kinetic and electric gym machines perfect for the older generation.

It will hold a strong claim to having the borough’s widest age range for members with Dorothy at one end and teenagers at the other.

Gym manager Pauline Astbury, who organised the surprise party, said: “Dorothy is real inspiration to everyone here, everyone loves her and she truly is a one in a million.”