The world’s oldest man has celebrated his 113th birthday in Spain after putting his long life down to a diet of home-grown vegetables and a daily glass of red wine.
Francisco Nunez Olivera, who has four children, nine grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren, began the day with his traditional sponge cake and glass of milk for breakfast before opening letters of congratulation from around the world.
The widower’s daughter Maria Antonia, 82, was among those who spent the anniversary with him at his home in the village of Bienvenida in Badajoz, south-west Spain.
The world’s oldest man, Francisco Nunez Olivera, has celebrated his 113th birthday in Spain after putting his long life down to home-grown vegetables and a daily glass of red wine
Francisco, who has two siblings aged 97 and 93, became the world’s oldest man after the death of Polish-born Israeli Yisrael Kristal on August 11.
The retired farmer, who fought in the Rif War in the first half of the 1920s between Spain and the Berber tribes of the Rif mountains in Morocco, went out for daily walks alone in his home village until he was 107.
He started to read again aged 98 after a cataract operation, one of only two occasions he has been to hospital, according to relatives.
Relatives have attributed his longevity to a diet based on vegetables he grew on his own land and a daily glass of red wine.
Francisco, known as Marchena because of his likeness to a Spanish flamenco singer who used that stage name, is one of 30 people over the age of 90 among the 2,300 inhabitants of Bienvenida.
Proud daughter Antonia, now his full-time carer, said her father is in ‘good health’ and doesn’t have any aches or pains or illnesses.
Mayor Antonio Carmona added: ‘He’s an living example of the quality of life in the municipality, but also of the pollution-free skies and countryside and stress-free work of the traditional way of life.’
In an April 2015 interview with Spanish daily El Mundo, Francisco said he would like to live a couple more years despite the fact all his friends were dead and insisted: ‘I know I’m old but I don’t feel old.’
His daughter added: ‘Some days he talks all day and others he sleeps all day.
‘Someone mentioned the idea of taking him to a retirement home once and it made me feel bad.’