Hip hip hooray for medal-winning Wyatts Green pensioners

An elderly couple from Brentwood refuse to let their combined total of four hip replacements, stop them from competitively swimming – and winning medals.

Frances and Paul Alvarez, of Wyatts Green Lane, Wyatts Green, had to take a break from competitive masters swimming for four and two years respectively after Frances, 70, had a third hip replacement a year ago and Paul, 76, had a hip replacement and an operation to repair a detached retina.

But on their return to the sport, at the Essex Masters Swimming Championships last Saturday (May 7), Frances won five events and broke two county records for her age group, and Paul won three events – smashing county records in them all.

Speaking to the Recorder just before the couple headed out to tend their allotment, Paul said: “I suppose we’re not bad for a pair of old fogies.

“I’ve been swimming all my life, at the point of retiring I came back to it more seriously. My wife only started competitively when she was about 40.”

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Frances added: “I swam up until three weeks before the operation. We don’t give up or give in.”

The couple – who train five times a week at the Brentwood Centre – were said to be a little achy but attended the Doddinghurst Tea Dance on Sunday.

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