He has reached yet another milestone in a remarkable life.

And Ivor Broadis, who turned 96 today, is continuing to reach out to his fellow football heroes.

The England and Carlisle legend is supporting a special News & Star auction in memory of Tony Hopper.

Ivor has signed an official match programme from the England versus Scotland international match played at Wembley on April 18, 1953.

To coincide with Ivor’s birthday, we are auctioning the piece of international football history to raise funds for the Motor Neurone Disease Association.

That is the charity supported by former Carlisle United and Workington Reds player Tony Hopper, who died in October aged 42 after a brave battle with the disease.

Ivor said he was touched by Tony’s story and was happy to help the cause in his memory.

“It was very sad, what happened, and anything that helps raise some money, I’m more than happy to help,” he said.

The programme was originally donated to the News & Star in memory of the late Roger Irving of Wreay.

We want to use it to raise as much as possible for the MND Association in a further tribute to Tony, who was hailed a hero for his fight against the condition, as well as his efforts to raise funds and awareness.

The 1953 England-Scotland game saw Ivor score twice in a 2-2 draw, in a game played in front of 97,000 fans and which featured other England legends such as Tom Finney, Billy Wright, Alf Ramsey and Nat Lofthouse. It was one of 14 appearances the great inside-forward made for his country.

Recalling the game, Ivor said: “When you got onto the park against Scotland, the first words that you heard were, ‘I’ll see you, Jimmy’.

“I always used to say to them, ‘Well, you’ll have to catch me coming back’.

“It was always a great occasion for me, playing against Scotland. It was the be-all and end-all. They were our greatest rivals. At some of the games there was 120,000 there.”

Ivor, already the oldest living England international player, is now the first England player ever to reach the age of 96.

The former Carlisle, Newcastle, Manchester City and Sunderland hero is today celebrating at his home in Linstock, near Carlisle, where he lives with daughter Gillian and son-in-law Colin.

He received a number of cards while neighbours with other well-wishers visiting throughout the day.

He also plans to watch tonight's League Cup quarter-final between Man City and Leicester on television, with Man City’s David Silva among his favourite current players.

Asked about the secrets to a long life, Ivor said: “I don’t think there’s any secret, really.

“My philosophy has always been if you are good with people, they’ll be good with you. That’s all I’ve gone by and it seems to have worked!”

Ivor, who served in the Royal Air Force during World War Two and was posted to Crosby-on-Eden – starting his long association with Carlisle - was recently made an honorary freeman of the city.

He became player-manager of United at the age of 23 and played for England in the 1954 World Cup.

He was recently reunited with the England shirt he wore in the 1953 game against Scotland after it was found by Isobel Moffat, from Thornhill near Dumfries, in her attic.

A close friend of the Broadis family had loaned the shirt to Isobel who had worn it in a charity football match in the 1960s.

It had then been forgotten about – before it was finally unearthed and returned to Ivor last month.

*To bid for the signed programme, visit https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/163438936855