A FORMER Albion hero celebrated his 86th birthday in style with a football-themed tea party in his care home.

Steve Burtenshaw, who played for the Seagulls 237 times in 14 years, enjoyed his birthday with fellow residents and his loved ones at Caer Gwent nursing home in Downview Road, Worthing.

Steve, who was born in Portslade, enjoyed a long career with the Albion as a one-club man from 1952, when he was just 17, until 1966, when he retired from football, aged 31.

He went on to manage Sheffield Wednesday from 1973, before a caretaker role at Everton. After this, Steve made the switch to London with roles at Queens Park Rangers and a caretaker role at Arsenal in 1986, who are the team he supports.

For his birthday, he was given a special Arsenal-themed cake, made by Worthing-based Connect Catering, which he said topped off a great day.

Steve said: “That Arsenal cake was the real cherry on top of my day, and it tasted brilliant too. I might see if we can get one made every month.

“I didn’t want too much commotion for my birthday, but I wanted to thank everyone for a wonderful time. The staff have been amazing here at Caer Gwent and have truly gone above and beyond. I feel like a part of the family, and it is safe to say it was definitely the best birthday in a long time.”

The Argus: From left, Roy Jennings, Steve Burtenshaw and Ken WhitfieldFrom left, Roy Jennings, Steve Burtenshaw and Ken Whitfield

Steve’s birthday was on November 23, but he celebrated it more recently with the care home.

Outside of football, Steve enjoys listening to Frank Sinatra and reading the newspaper to keep himself up to date with the latest news.

According to care home manager, Clare Feest, Steve can often be found participating in exercises or playing bingo with the other residents.

Clare said: “It’s great to see the residents getting involved in our activities like exercising, going for walks and arts and crafts, but there is always something special about a birthday celebration.

The Argus: Steve and Laura, one of the carersSteve and Laura, one of the carers

“After a difficult 18-months, it has been even more important that we all celebrate and cherish every milestone. It was a pleasure to see Steve enjoy his birthday get together, and that brilliant cake. Happy 86 years young to Steve.”

Caer Gwent is a residential care home with 24-hour nursing care. They pride themselves on their health and wellbeing coordinators, who “deliver regular and stimulating activies catered to individuals’ interests.”

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