GRINNING GRANDMA: Age is no barrier to football glory with Peg Zirbel (95) besting 25 young men to the win the Orica Helidon footy tipping competition. Organisers ( from left) Glen Ewing and Rob McErlean presented her with her prizemoney yesterday.
GRINNING GRANDMA: Age is no barrier to football glory with Peg Zirbel (95) besting 25 young men to the win the Orica Helidon footy tipping competition. Organisers ( from left) Glen Ewing and Rob McErlean presented her with her prizemoney yesterday. Nev Madsen

Footy, knitting and naughty poetry keep this grandma young

A 95-YEAR-OLD great-grandmother has bested 25 footy-loving blokes to take out a Helidon business' NRL tripping competition and pocket $325 in prizemoney.

Peg Zirbel is a die-hard footy fan who developed a passion for the game while raising her sons.

"Having two boys, if you cannot beat them, you join them, so I know what's what," she said.

"I put in a lot of thought, I read the papers and I watch a lot of football.

"My husband was a football fan, I used to jump up and down while watching games but I'm a bit past that now.

"My legs will not hold me."

Mrs Zirbel is backing the Melbourne Storm to take premiership in a final against the Sydney Roosters.

"I hope the Storm wins because I'm against anyone from New South Wales winning," she said.

Paying close attention to the footy is one of the many ways Mrs Zirbel keeps her mind sharp. She completes both Chronicle crosswords, six days a week, and is an avid knitter.

She made 130 pairs of slippers in the past two years and gave them to her neighbours at Brodribb Home.

Mrs Zirbel is a talented poet, penning short rhymes about everyday life.

( From left ) Peg Zirbel with Orica Helidon organisers Glen Ewing and Rob McErlean. Thursday, 12th Sep, 2019.
( From left ) Peg Zirbel with Orica Helidon organisers Glen Ewing and Rob McErlean. Thursday, 12th Sep, 2019. Nev Madsen

Her subjects include her daughter-in-law's broken foot, over-cooked rissoles and riding her exercise bike nude.

"I also did Meals on Wheels until I was 91, but then the wheels fell off," Mrs Zirbel said.

"You have to develop the right attitude to old age.

"If you do not keep busy and stay active you get old.

"I do not feel old, because I do not have any old friends - they are all dead. That's another thing you need on old age, a sense of humour."

Mrs Zirbel's footy tipping win might have bruised some egos at Orica Helidon, but the competition organiser, Glen Ewing, said they would recover.

"I think the blokes were chuffed to see there were out-foxed by such a smart woman," he said.



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