RIGHT back Mike Hancock rolled back the years when he became the most elderly player ever to play on the oldest football ground in the world.

The 70-year-old believes he is most likely the most senior player to date to cross the white line on what is widely regarded to be the oldest football ground still in use.

Mr Hancock, who celebrated his birthday last month, played the full 60 minutes of a Old Boltonian Vets reunion game.

The match was arranged to celebrate 25 years of the team’s promotion from North Division 3A in 1994.

It took place on Old Boltonian’s Tower Street pitches in Chapeltown, which are believed to have been in use since 1873.

Mr Hancock made his debut for the club in 1968 and has played for Old Bolts in every decade since – before hanging up his boots around five years ago.

But he came out of retirement for a reunion game last year, which went so well that the club decided to arrange another.

Mr Hancock said: “We played a game last year to celebrate 25 years of us winning the league. It was so enjoyable that we decided to do another. It was fitting as well because we got promoted again the year after we won the league.

“I absolutely loved it and there was a very good atmosphere. I think it makes me the oldest person to play a competitive game on the oldest pitches in the world.”

Mr Hancock played at right back during the game, which his team won 3-2.

“My daughter is my harshest critic and she said I played okay so that will do for me,” he added. We won as well which is always nice.

“When I was at Bolton School they encourage you to do different sports. So as well as football, I’ve always loved swimming.

“I go to the gym three to four times a week as well. David Lloyd is my second home.”

Nick Holt, the club secretary at Old Boltonians confirmed Mr Hancock’s achievement, adding: "Mike Hancock played in the game and is according to our records the oldest man to play on those pitches.”