From fascist fighter to fitness phenomenon!

Jarrow & Hebburn Gazette | Tuesday, 15 January 2013 | Click here for original article

LIFTING LIFE TO THE FULL ... Christobal Campos in training.
LIFTING LIFE TO THE FULL ... Christobal Campos in training.

Inspirational Spanish Civil War veteran Christobal Campos is still getting a kick out of life – in his 94th year.

Super-fit Mr Campos is a 4th dan in the Korean martial art of Taekwondo.

The 93-year-old, an ex-boxer who has the energy of most 19-year-olds, works out four times a week at the Temple Park Centre in South Shields and Washington Leisure Centre.

And every morning, he takes 50 minutes out to flex his muscles and complete a daily regime of press-ups and sit-ups at his home in Don View, Boldon Colliery.

The father-of-two, who was born in southern Spain in 1919, is determined to keep kicking his rivals into touch until he reaches 100.

He said: “I often get mistaken for someone much younger. When I ask them my age, they say 65 or 70. They can’t believe that I’m 93.

“I love to stay fit and work out. I can’t imagine not doing it, and I’d encourage anyone, no matter what their age, to give it a go.”

Dave Hewson, 49, a fellow regular at the Temple Park Centre gym, said: “Christobal is an inspiration to us all.

“He’s unbelievable for his age.

“He is willing to take on any challenge.

“I took him to Zumba classes and he gave it a really good go. Nothing fazes him.”

Mr Campos, whose wife May died a year ago, fought against Franco’s fascists in the 1936-39 civil war.

After the fall of the Republic, he travelled to Gibraltar, where he joined the British merchant navy – and ended up taking part in the famous Russian Convoys, winning the Atlantic Star for his efforts.

He met wife May at a dance at the Mission to Seafarers in South Shields, and later settled in the borough, working in a series of handymen and labouring jobs.

Mr Campos added: “I only took up Taekwondo because my grandsons were competing and I went to watch a class.

“Thirteen years later and I love it more than ever.”


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