Kettering man who is country's oldest with Down Syndrome turns 78

A Kettering man who is the oldest person in the country with Down Syndrome reached another milestone today (Wednesday).

Tuesday, 8th October 2019, 5:15 pm
Robin Smith is celebrating his 78th birthday.
Robin Smith is celebrating his 78th birthday.

Robin Smith is celebrating turning 78 at Northleigh residential home in Rockingham Road, where he lives, with armchair yoga and karaoke.

When Robin was born in 1941 the life expectancy for people with the condition was just 12 - but almost eight decades later he's still as active as ever.

Registered manager Michaela Kennerley said he is an "amazing" man.

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Robin loves horses.

She said: "Robin is a bit of a character and he's still very mobile and active.

"He attends the day centre and likes washing up, hoovering and laying the tables.

"Everybody gets on with him and he's great to be around. He loves a cuddle."

Robin became the UK's oldest living person with Down Syndrome in April when Kenny Cridge, who previously held the record, died at the age of 79 in Somerset.

Robin with staff and residents at the residential home.

It's believed Robin, who moved to Northleigh in 1986, may even be the oldest living person with the condition in the world.

His cousin Janet Winn said Robin living into old age was down to the care and companionship at the home, where he is one of nine residents.

Robin's key worker Billy Fulcher said: "I love him to bits, he's such a lovely lad.

"He always makes me laugh and I just love looking after him."

Robin with his parents.

Robin has two older siblings, Elizabeth and Iain, and grew up in St Margaret's Avenue in Rushden with his parents Ivy and Sid.

He loves bingo, dancing and betting on horses, enjoys an occasional trip to the pub and likes going to Blackpool.

He also loves watching his favourite soaps and eating Weetabix and cheesecake.

The world’s oldest man with Down Syndrome was Bert Holbrook from Minnesota in America, who was 83 when he died in 2012.