CRICKET legend Sir Ian Botham led the honours as a well-known Wellington woman celebrated her 100th birthday at the weekend.

Born and raised in Cheltenham, Wendy Bird served in the Land Army in the Second World War, during which her first husband, Donald McIntosh, was killed.

After the war, she married John Bird in 1948 and together they ran a grocers’ shop in Worcester for 18 years before moving to Wellington in 1968 as landlord and landlady of the Sanford Arms in South Street.

They ran the pub for seven years before moving to take over the bar at Wellington Sports Centre - Mr Bird running it first and then Mrs Bird after her husband took up a job with Taunton Deane Council.

However, tragedy struck again in 1977 when Mr Bird was one of three Wellington Bowling Club officials killed in a road accident near Ilminster.

After this, Mrs Bird joined Somerset County Cricket Club as membership secretary for three years and then went back behind the counter, running bars on the ground for the next 15 years and eventually retiring when she was 72.

It was during her time at the county ground that Mrs Bird struck up a friendship with Ian Botham and fellow Somerset stars Viv Richards and Joel Garner.

To mark her special occasion, the England all-rounder sent a personally-signed card – congratulating her on achieving “100 not out” – along with a bottle of Sir Ian Botham Chardonnay, produced by the wine company he now runs.

“It was a lovely surprise,” said Mrs Bird, who lives in Abbeyfield’s Ivy House flats off Station Road.

She also received the customary birthday card from HM the Queen and her celebrations included a party at Ivy House on Saturday evening with a buffet provided by Abbeyfield, a special cake made by house manager, Alisha Cordy, and songs from local musician John Walker.

The next day, there was a family lunch at the Beambridge Inn, near Wellington.

Mrs Bird has six children - Sandra (who still lives in Cheltenham), Bruce (Jersey), Terry (California), Madeleine and Ken (both Wellington) and Russell (Tiverton) - along with grandchildren and great-grandchildren, many of whom joined her at the weekend for her centenarian celebrations.