From fascist fighter to fitness phenomenon!
Jarrow & Hebburn Gazette | Tuesday, 15 January 2013 | Click here for original article
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.”