A THRILL-seeking centenarian will celebrate his milestone birthday by throwing himself from a plane – 74 years after he last fell from the skies as a paratrooper in the army.

Thomas Hodgson, who lives in Cleator Moor, will put on a parachute once again to mark his recent 100th birthday with a charity skydive.

He had been due to take the 8,000 foot leap on Sunday, which was his birthday, but was "very disappointed" for it to be cancelled on the day due to the weather.

Mr Hodgson will now take to the skies this Sunday instead, along with his friend John Wharton, to raise money for Cancer Research UK and The Great North Air Ambulance.

As well as skydiving his way into triple figures, Mr Hodgson is also looking forward to a birthday party at Cockermouth Auction Restaurant on Saturday, with around 150 guests expected to attend.

Mr Hodgson will hand over the sponsorship money from his skydive to the two charities, which currently stands at £4,000.

He said: "Hopefully we'll get a bit more on Saturday. I'm happy - I got more than I thought we would have done.

"I'm looking forward to Sunday. I was very disappointed last Sunday."

He added he was "not one bit" nervous about throwing himself from a plane.

It's been a busy week of celebrations for the centenarian, who has enjoyed meeting his friends in Cockermouth "to put the world to rights" and going out for lunch with his family.

Mr Hodgson said he had received around 75 birthday cards, including a "lovely" card from the Queen and one from Amber Rudd, secretary of state for work and pensions.

However, he was adamant he did not want any gifts - asking only for donations to the two charities.

Mr Hodgson was born in Rowrah and grew up in Moor Row. He joined the Royal Engineers in 1940 at the age of 19. He worked on the railways and when the army asked for parachuting volunteers, he jumped at the chance - literally!

He met his wife Mary in 1936 and the couple were wed on February 26, 1943 at St Leonard’s Church in Cleator.

After leaving the army, Mr Hodgson worked on the London, Midlands and Scottish railways, and was a chargehand locomotive driver at Sellafield for 12 years before he retired.

Mr Hodgson was widowed 25 years ago and continues to visit his wife’s final resting place at St Leonard’s twice a week to “have a crack”.

The adventurous pensioner describes himself as “independent”. He still drives a car and enjoys meeting up with his old friends at Cockermouth Auction.

When asked how he felt about turning 100, Mr Hodgson said: "I don't feel 100. I feel 50."