A FORMER champion bowler from Lochgelly has died just weeks before celebrating her 100th birthday.

Cathie Herd had always dreamed of reaching her centenary but wasn’t bothered about the telegram from the Queen – she really wanted a write up in the Central Fife Times!

However, the mother-of-two passed away on September 1, less than five weeks before reaching the massive milestone.

Born in Ladysmill in 1918, Cathie worked in the wage department of the Co-op at Auchterderran. She married first husband William and they had a son, David.

However tragedy struck when William was killed in Burma during World War Two.

She went onto marry Thomas, William’s brother, in 1948 and they had a daughter, Kathryn. Cathie, who had four grandchildren and eight grandchildren, then worked as an auxilliary nurse at the Victoria Hospital and her interests included bowls and singing.

She was an honorary member of the Lochgelly Bowling Club and had also been in the Bowhill Community Choir.

Daughter Kathryn expressed her sadness that her mum didn’t get to celebrate her centenary.

“My mum’s dearest wish was to get her picture in the paper for her 100th birthday,” she said.

“Her birthday would have been on October 5 (today). She was not so bothered about getting her telegram from the Queen – she wanted to make sure she was wearing the right clothes and had her hair done to get her picture in the Times.

“She was a young person for reaching 99. She had a young outlook and, for all of her seven and a half stones, she used to get about like a whippet.

“She was a very good bowler and she won championships and I was told by the bowlers that when she was 93 she played in a pairs match and beat another pair by a massive margin!

“She kept busy and had lots of gadgets for health and keeping her limbs supple. She believed if you don’t help yourself, nobody else will.”