The oldest bowls player in England, Wiltshire’s Tom White, celebrated his 100th birthday on Christmas Day.

He celebrated the milestone with a surprise party at the Masonic Hall in Corsham attended by 33 of his family and friends.

They included John Crowder, former president of Bowls Wiltshire, which posted a message saying: “Bowls Wiltshire would like to wish Tom a Happy 100th Birthday on Christmas Day. Congratulations on reaching this fantastic age and we hope you have a great day.”

Mr White, who lives in Brook Drive, Corsham, also celebrated on Christmas Day with a family party in Chippenham hosted by his niece, Diana Beacham.

He plays outdoor bowls for Box Bowls Club, from April to September, in the Mid Wilts Triples Bowls League, and indoor bowls for North Wiltshire Indoor Bowls Club in Chippenham from September to April.

"I still manage to play twice a week," said Tom, whose wife Betty, died aged 93 nine years ago.

According to Bowls England, Mr White is the oldest bowls player in Wiltshire and England and possibly the world.

Stan Bartlett, the secretary of the Mid Wilts Triples League, has contacted the Guinness Book of Records to see if this claim can be verified.

Mr White was born in 1921 in the village of Imber on Salisbury Plain, which is now used by the army as a training area.

When he was eight months old, his parents Harold and Dorothy White moved to Thingley near Corsham.

Tom and his older brother Frank later owned a farm in Thingley which they farmed in partnership after their parents died. Tom looked after the cattle whilst his brother the arable side of the farm.

The family also farmed at Thingley Court Farm on the Methuen estate at Corsham for many years.

After he retired from farming 30 years ago, Tom took up bowling, after being introduced to the game by a farming friend.

"I was playing skittles one night with a farmer friend and he said 'why don't you come and play bowls with us?'

"I don't know what I would have done with myself for the last 30 years if I had not played bowls."

Tom played firstly with Melksham Town and, when they closed, he joined Box Bowls Club where he still bowls.

At last year’s Mid Wilts Bowls League Gala Day, Tom was the oldest player taking part and teamed up with Alfie Holland, 13, who was the youngest.

Tom also runs a Tea & Biscuits team at Box where he writes out all the teams playing schedules by hand for each member of his team.

After he retired from farming, he moved to Gastard and then a few years ago into Corsham. His brother died in 2013.

Box Bowls Club said: "Tom is a very valued member and it is not unusual for him to play all afternoon before helping with the washing up."