Wheels of fortune

Gladys Smith, of Apperknowle, who will celebrate her 98th birthday with a meal and a game of roulette at Napoleons Casino in Ecclesall Road.
Gladys Smith, of Apperknowle, who will celebrate her 98th birthday with a meal and a game of roulette at Napoleons Casino in Ecclesall Road.
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MEET Gladys Smith – she’s the oldest spinner in town.

The gambling great granny will become Sheffield’s most senior speculator when she celebrate her 98th birthday at the roulette tables tomorrow.

And, win or lose, you can bet your casino chips the retired dinner lady will enjoy every moment.

“Lose?” says Gladys, a mum of three, grandmother of six and great grandma of 11. “I don’t plan on losing. But I don’t gamble too much. It’s the fun of the night that’s important. Although last time I did win. I think it was £12.”

She’s not bluffing. And that’s not a bad return for someone who, until last year, had never so much as bought a lottery ticket in her life.

Gladys, of Apperknowle, first went all casino in November for her granddaughter’s birthday – and she had such a good time she’s doing the same for her big day. And if she enjoys that she says she’s odds on to become a regular at Napoleon’s in Ecclesall Road.

“Why not? says the widow, whose husband Bill passed away in 1972. “You have to have a little fun, don’t you?”

Daughter Pauline – herself one of the casino’s more mature players at 73 – says: “She’s young at heart and she knows how to have enjoy herself. What’s funny is she’s never gambled in her life before we went last November. She doesn’t even play the lottery.”