IT may have been more than 70 years since she first stepped on to a tennis court, but sprightly Margaret Strong has lost none of her enthusiasm for the game.

Margaret, who recently celebrated her 83rd birthday, has had racquet in hand since she was 10 years old and has been a member of Eccleston Park tennis club for more than 30 years.

And three years ago, the Eccleston Park club created the Margaret Round tournament to celebrate the longevity of the sporting veteran. The club named the trophy after Margaret and staged the first of the events to mark her 80th birthday.

It has become an annual fixture and the latest competition was held at the club last month. It saw pensioner Margaret competing in the tournament herself as well as presenting the trophy.

“I love playing tennis. I’ve played since I was 10 and have been a member at Eccleston Park club since 1980,” says Margaret.

“I’m not as fast as I used to be but I can anticipate which helps against some of the younger players, although that’s more of a challenge against more experienced players.

“It was a wonderful afternoon and there were all abilities and all ages competing from aged 12 up to myself. There were about 40 people there in total, most competing."

Originally from Middlesex, she moved to St Helens in 1975 after husband Tom, now 87, was transferred to the town with British Sidac.

Away from the tennis court Margaret, who worked for the St Helens Health Authority, is also a member of the Friends of the Deaf organisation which raises money for the Deaf Resource centre, in Dentons Green.

IsMagaret the oldest active sportsperson in St Helens? If you have a story to share contact the newsroom by emailing or by calling 01744 762766.