A LOCAL Leigh legend celebrated his 100th birthday with family and friends this week.

Born on October 5, 1922, Francis Rothwell began work at A Hodgson Engineers and Smith aged just 14.

He went on to serve in the Second World War and received the Burma Star for his brave efforts fighting in Burma, Singapore, and Calcutta.

On his return to Leigh, he returned to his old workplace and married his childhood sweetheart Anne White in 1946.

Francis and Anne bought A Hodgson Engineers and Smith soon after his return and served the community for more than six decades.

Leigh Journal: Francis turned 100 on October 5Francis turned 100 on October 5 (Image: Francis Rothwell)

Following his trusted hard work across the community - which included the design and manufacture of the metal infills in the stairs inside Leigh Town Hall - Francis was honoured by figuring in one of the Town Hall murals.

A committed member of Leigh Rotary Club and Leigh Abbeyfield Society, the dad, grandad, and great-grandad has also been awarded an MBE from Prince Charles for his charitable work with the organisations.

To celebrate his life and achievements, a 100th birthday party was organised for Francis at Leigh Masonic Hall on Sunday, October 9 - which also would have been his 76th wedding anniversary if Anne had not passed away in 2002.

Leigh Journal: Francis' life and achievements were celebrated at Leigh Masonic HallFrancis' life and achievements were celebrated at Leigh Masonic Hall (Image: Francis Rothwell)

In the company of family and friends, the Lord-Lieutenant of Greater Manchester, Diane Hawkins, came along to congratulate Francis on his centenary and community work with a card and letter.

He was also presented with a certificate from the Global Abbeyfield Society and a Triple Ruby Paul Harris Award from Rotary International - the highest award granted by the organisation.

Leigh Journal: Francis with the book written about his lifeFrancis with the book written about his life (Image: Francis Rothwell)

Guests at the party were entertained by Wigan Ukele Group 'Just Friends', while Francis was presented with a copy of a book his family had written about the accomplishments he has achieved in life.

Francis is also waiting on a card from the new King Charles to finish off his centenary celebrations.