'I'm chuffed to bits!' - Coach company name vehicle after 104-year-old Sheffield World War II veteran

Gleadless-born Cecil Higgins said he was 'chuffed to bits' after National Express named a coach after him for his 104th birthday. Picture: Adam Fradgley/Exposure
Gleadless-born Cecil Higgins said he was 'chuffed to bits' after National Express named a coach after him for his 104th birthday. Picture: Adam Fradgley/Exposure
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A coach company has named one of its vehicles in honour of a remarkable Sheffield music lover - aged 104.

National Express has named a coach ‘Cecil’ after Cecil Higgins, who recently celebrated his 104th birthday, and is the oldest passenger to still regularly travel with the firm.

104 year old Cecil Higgins with the coach named after him and friend Andrew Robinson with Andrew's parents Grace & John Robinson. Picture: Adam Fradgley/Exposure

104 year old Cecil Higgins with the coach named after him and friend Andrew Robinson with Andrew's parents Grace & John Robinson. Picture: Adam Fradgley/Exposure

Cecil who grew up and lived in Gleadless was a former artilleryman in World War II. He said he was 'chuffed to bits' he was honoured in this way.

The coach firm has even offered to provide Cecil and his friends with free travel to concerts in Leeds - to keep the friendship harmonious.

Cecil, who now lives in Grange Crescent care home in Sharrow with his 102-year-old brother Douglas, goes once a month from Sheffield bus station to organ concerts in Leeds with his five friends: Andrew, Philip, Derek, Grace and John.

The group befriended each other four years ago shortly after Cecil turned 100 after meeting at an organ recital, and they have kept going to concerts in Leeds by coach ever since.

Gleadless-born Cecil Higgins said he was 'chuffed to bits' after National Express named a coach after him for his 104th birthday. Picture: Adam Fradgley/Exposure

Gleadless-born Cecil Higgins said he was 'chuffed to bits' after National Express named a coach after him for his 104th birthday. Picture: Adam Fradgley/Exposure

Cecil said: “I’m chuffed to bits that my name is on a coach I think it looks smashing. Thanks very much National Express for the free travel!”

His friend Grace Robinson said: “Cecil always has an interesting tale to tell, usually about his interesting occupation as a stained glass window maker and designer.

“We all have great fun travelling to concerts together and he was really delighted to have a coach named after him and kept beaming all day.”

Cecil was a painter and designer of glass for church and cathedral windows, during World War Two he had to take all of his stained glass windows out of the churches in Sheffield and pack them away to stop them being broken by the bombing.

The 104-year-old has a son and a daughter, though his wife died a few years ago.

National Express UK Coach managing director Tom Stables said: “Cecil’s zest for life and energy are incredible, he is a truly remarkable man so we‘ve named one of our coaches after him as a small token of our admiration. We are also delighted to offer him and his friends free travel to concerts in Leeds that they go together in future.”