One of Braintree’s oldest residents has died.

Alfred Hardy, 103, was a regular visitor to Rayne Bowls Club, where he used to play until his 101st year before going along just to watch the games.

Mr Hardy, who had lived at his home in Cressing Road, Braintree, for more than 60 years, and played football for Crittall Athletic, now Braintree Town, in the 1930s, before moving on to Sudbury Town Football Club.

His family said: “He will be remembered as a dad, grandad and true friend but also as a very special person whose memories and love of life gave us inspiration."

His funeral will be held at Three Counties Crematorium, High Garrett, today at 1.30pm.