Leaked: What Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger wrote to his 103-year-old ‘girlfriend’

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Great grandma Margaret Welby “adores” the Gunners manager so much, she has a portrait of the Frenchman on her bedroom wall

A devoted football fan who has just celebrated her 103rd birthday received a card from her sporting “hero” – Arsenal FC manager Arsene Wenger.

Margaret Welby “adores” the 67-year-old Gunners boss to such an extent she even calls herself his ‘girlfriend’.

At 36 years her junior, the famed Gunners boss made sure her already special occasion was especially memorable by sending her a signed photograph and birthday wishes.

Born in 1914, devoted Arsenal fan Margaret even has a photograph of Wenger on her bedroom wall – right alongside portraits of her beloved family members.

So you can imagine her join at getting the personal letter signed by the Frenchman himself.

Wenger wrote: “On behalf of all the player and staff, may I take this opportunity to send our congratulations and good wishes on the occasion of your 103rd birthday!

“We understand that you are a loyal Arsenal supporter for which we are very grateful.

“We do hope that you will enjoy this special day and wish you all the very best for the future from everyone here at Arsenal Football Club.”

The Grimsby Telegraph writes that Margaret – who lives in Waltham but grew up in Immingham and Keelby – celebrated her special day surrounded by her nearest and dearest at a family meal on Sunday.

Tony, Raymond, Martin, Tim and Phil all came together to celebrate their mum’s “inspirational” achievement of reaching her 103rd birthday at the King’s Head pub, in High Street, Waltham.

The intimate family affair was just part of the celebrations, and Margaret – a mum of five, grandma to 11 and great grandma to one – will continue to be treated by her extended family as the week goes on.

An Ashley Court resident, Margaret is apparently “in love” with 67-year-old Arsenal manager, Wenger, who has spent 11 successful years at the North London club.

Her son, Martin, says Margaret’s love for Wenger revolves around her admiration for his managerial style, tactical nous and football philosophy.

Whilst holding the Gunners close to her heart, Margaret has been a keen football fan for much of her life, and has even visited Wembley stadium as many as nine times to watch the FA Cup final.

Delighted at receiving her special card from Wenger, Margaret, said: “It is wonderful.

“It has got my name on it. I’m a big Arsenal fan.

“One or two of the workmen here saw the photo and asked if it is Arsene Wenger.

“I told them ‘yes, I’m his girlfriend’.

“They said I should be with him for the money but I’m doing all right without,” she joked.

Formerly a housekeeper during the Second World War, Margaret married Fred Welby in the early 1930s after the pair met when she was just 18 years old.

Fred sadly died aged 81 in 1986, and Margaret has lived independently ever since.

Whilst remaining adamant that there is “no secret” to reaching such an impressive age, Martin believes his mum’s longevity may have something to do with her “pragmatic” approach to life.

He said: “She keeps saying she’s going but I think she just likes the attention.

“She has a very good complexion and is very happy. She is very realistic about her situation.

“We all treat her with respect as we should.

“She really is in love with Arsene Wenger and just likes his management style.

“She used to watch football all of the time and used to be able to talk about lots of sporting subjects.”

Margaret’s 40-year-old granddaughter Rebecca Welby also celebrated with the family at the weekend.

Rebecca has described her grandma as inspirational and has paid tribute to her outlook on life.

She said: “She is a huge inspiration. I ask her what her secret is but she says there isn’t a secret.

“But I would say it’s because she is determined. She has always worked and has lived a very active life.

“She is a strong and determined character.

“We are proud of her achievement. It gives us hope that we can all live a long and happy life.”


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