Sam Ledward has turned 106 today, despite the fact that he was declared dead 76 years ago.

In 1936, the former carpenter crashed his motorcycle, a 500cc Triumph. He had only had the motorbike for two months, and the bike had been implicated in an earlier accident. Ledward had fixed the rear tire, thinking that the front wheel would be all right, but he was wrong. On a fateful day in 1936, the front tire burst, sending him flying onto the road.

The accident was so bad that doctors thought that he had died and ordered him to be carted off the scene. But an observant hospital porter saw Ledward's "corpse" move, and returned him to the hospital.

Ledward's earliest memory after his brush with death was when he knocked a feeding cup out of a nurse's hand. He spent five days afterward still unconscious. The wounds on his head and face took six months for Ledward to heal.

Ledward credits his old age to luck - unsurprising, considering his fate all those years ago. These days, Ledward's life is less dramatic. Most days, Ledward takes a bus into town with his companion, Millie Minshall, 90. Ms. Minshall is the cousin of Ledward's late wife Edith. Though Ms. Ledward passed away in 1993, she made sure that her cousin would look after him after her death.

Ledward says that he is doing very well, and that Ms. Minshall takes very good care of him. He celebrated his birthday with Ms. Minshall and her daughter's family, and received a card from the Queen.

Sam Ledward says that he used to travel overseas, but now he thinks that he is too old for those trips.

"My memory is alright," he said to ITV News. "I couldn't go playing football or swimming or things like that now - I wouldn't like to try! But I'm alright for an old codger."

The injury still hurts at times, Ledward said to The Sun, "but you just have to grin and bear it, don't you?"