AN RAF veteran who helped form the Leeds Swimming Club has been making splash by celebrating his 100th birthday.
Jim Hudson marked the occasion with a special party with his relatives and friends which included a cake bearing the club crest of his beloved Leeds United.
Jim was born in Leeds in August 1913 to James and Elizabeth Hudson.
He left Leeds Central School at 16 and followed his father to work at William Paul’s Tannery in Kirkstall Road, manufacturing leather products for the forces during the war.
He joined West Park Local Defence Volunteers until 1943 before being posted to Italy with the RAF.
There he met his future wife Mary who was also in the RAF as a radio repairer and operator.
After the war, the couple were married at Cockerton Parish Church in Darlington and had two children, Ann and Malcolm.
He left the Tannery in the late 1960s and bought Candy Corner Newsagents in Headingley which he ran with his wife Mary until 1978.
An avid Leeds Rhinos and Leeds United fan for many years, Jim continues to watch both sides.
Ever since the 1960s Jim encouraged children to participate in competitive swimming, water polo and synchronised swimming through clubs in Holbeck and Bramley.
He worked with others to bring swimmers together in one club, which was the genesis of Leeds City Swimming Club.
Jim also officiated as a timekeeper at swimming galas across Leeds.
In 1979 he retired with Mary to live on the Gower near Swansea.
When asked what the secret of his long life was, Jim replied: “No smoking or alcohol since my days in the RAF, and it’s in my genes!”