Wimbledon Train Station is like another home for Leslie Varran after more than 50 years working there as a station assistant.

And to mark his half-century in the job he was invited to be guest of honour at AFC Wimbledon's opening match of the season.

Mr Varran started his job in 1967, the year after England won the World Cup, when Harold Wilson was prime minister and when you could buy a brand new Mini for a few hundred quid.

And he has seen a few changes since then.

He said: “When I started at the station there was a completely different style.

“There was no security like there is today and many people have come and gone. A lot of people who I started with have now retired. I have loved it as a station assistant and always wanted to be a railway man and never gone higher.

“I got along with all my colleagues.”

Mr Varran, a life-long supporter of AFC Wimbledon football club said his VIP trip to was a great day out. He said: “It was a shame about their result, as we ended up losing in the end.”

Mr Varran has worked at almost all the stations down the line from Wimbledon, including Raynes Park, Motspur Park, Worcester Park and New Malden.

His managers at South Western Railway said: "Les has a keen sense of duty and a phenomenally fine quality of adaptability.

"Les has been an inspiration to us all; from day one Les joined then called British Rail in 1967 as a station assistant."