Northern Ireland

Strabane 'super-pensioner', Pat Gillespie, dies aged 102

Pat Gillespie
Image caption Pat Gillespie was renowned for his collection of cars and bikes

A Strabane pensioner, known for his whacky and wonderful inventions, has died at 102.

Pat Gillespie was renowned for his collection of cars and bikes, many of which he built and rode himself.

The former UK Pensioner of the Year was a friend of the late Terry Wogan and took part in his 1994 television programme 'Wogan's Island'.

In 2017, aged 100, Mr Gillespie was held captive by masked robbers who broke into his house.

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Media captionPat Gillespie speaking in 2017 after his home was broken into by masked robbers

Hundreds of people from around the world sent cards and well-wishes to the father of eight following his ordeal.

He remained defiant after the incident saying "I'm still here and I hope to be here for another couple of years at least."

Image caption Pat Gillespie on one of his bikes

On his 100th birthday the champion powerboat racer said: "I don't feel 100. I feel 38 and a half. I'll not be climbing any mountains but I'm still out on the bike."

The centenarian credited his long life to laughter saying it was the best medicine for anyone wanting to follow in his footsteps and reach their 100th birthday and beyond.

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