Rachel Hunt was just three months old when her father was transferred from Everton to play for Fulham , four years before the start of the First World War.

It was just the first in a lifetime of visits to Craven Cottage – at the start of the roaring 20s, the young girl would regularly bunk off school to sneak into the ground so she could see her dad, Walter White, perform on the pitch.

And a century later, Rachel beamed as she was brought back once again for a surprise 100 th birthday party in the club cafe, where she was greeted by family, friends and club staff yesterday afternoon (22).

Rachel lived in the same house in Danehurst Street – a stone's throw from the stadium – since she first came to London from Liverpool in 1910, and has charted her team's progress avidly ever since.

She had to move out earlier this year following a fall but is making a good recovery, and doctors believe she could seen be allowed back into the home she knows so well.

Linda Jones, a long-standing friend who lived near Rachel in Danehurst Street from the 1970s, said: "Not many people can say they've lived in the same house for nearly 100 years. She's quite a remarkable person."

Rachel had no children of her own but forged close ties with her neighbours, the Worleys, who became her adoptive family, and who organised Thursday's party with the help of the club.

Managers presented the centenarian with a vintage-style football and a special Fulham home shirt bearing the number 100.

Grandson Matthew Worley said: "This is a great occasion, 100 years. Rachel has brought a lot of love and pleasure into our lives.

"She used to come down to Craven Cottage as a young girl and would bunk off school to watch her dad play football here. If she'd have been born a man, she would have definitely played for Fulham."

A birthday cake was created with an edible photograph showing Rachel on her 80 th birthday at Fulham FC, and friends and relatives marked the occasion with champagne and cups of tea.

Rachel said: "I can't thank you enough for what you've done. I didn't know where I was going today, but I couldn't have come to a better place."


Walter 'Wattie' White was born in Ayrshire in Scotland in 1882, where his football career began with Hurlford Thistle.

He moved to Bolton Wanderers in 1902, playing in the FA Cup Final at Crystal Palace two years later when his team lost one-nil to Manchester City.

The following season, White scored 24 goals, including three hat-tricks, in just 33 appearances, and went on to win his first Scottish cap against England in 1907 in a one-one draw at St James's Park in Newcastle.

Wattie was sold to Everton in 1908 and two years later transferred to Fulham, where he played for 13 seasons.

He played 203 times for the Whites, scoring 18 goals during his time at the club, retiring in summer of 1923 and continuing to live in Fulham until his death in July 1950.

One history book described him as a 'diminutive and skilful' player with excellent ball control, effective as an inside forward or left-half as well as in defence.

He remains the oldest player to have ever played for Fulham, at the age of 40 years and nine months.