London: Nazar Singh, Europe's oldest man who received birthday greetings from the British Queen every year for the past decade, has died weeks after celebrating his 111th birthday.
Singh was on a visit to Punjab, the place he was born in 1904, when he passed away peacefully on Saturday - a day before Father's Day. "He was an incredible chap. He has lived a very happy and fulfilling life," said his grandson Harvinder Gill. "For the past few weeks he has been suffering with a few illnesses. He has had pneumonia but he was a fighter. Unfortunately, his time has passed," 31-year-old Gill told the 'Sunderland Chronicle.'
His age was never confirmed by 'Guinness World Records' as he had no birth certificate. But as a British citizen he was sent a letter by Queen Elizabeth II on his 100th birthday in 2004, and every birthday since.
Singh was born on June 8, 1904, and only two other men in the world are believed to have been older than him - Sakari Momoi and Yasutaro Koide, who are both Japanese and 112. Singh, who has nine children, 34 grandchildren and 64 great-grandchildren, believed the secret to his long life is a healthy diet and caring family. A keen gardener until the age of 107, Singh had never had any surgery, retained some of his original teeth and had perfect hearing till the day he died. He enjoyed milk and almond oil, regularly ate fruit, slept for 10 hours and enjoyed some whisky at night.
From the young age of 10, Nazar helped his family grow sugarcane, cotton, corn, wheat and later chilli, peanuts, potatoes and rice at their farm on their fields in the Punjab. In 1965, he and his wife moved to Wallsall in the West Midlands where he worked as a labourer before he retired and moved to Sunderland in 1989. His wife Narajan died 11 years ago, aged 90.