Express & Star

89-year-old Ikea worker gets birthday celebration that's 'better than one at retirement home'

An Ikea employee has celebrated his 89th birthday with a fantastic surprise party thrown by his co-worker's family.

More than 100 people celebrated

Bill Rogers started working at the Swedish retailer's Wednesbury store in 1995 at the age of 60. Now, 29 years later, he celebrated his 89th birthday surrounded by all of his colleagues, whom he considers family.

The grand party included balloons, banners, cake and even cardboard 'Bill' party masks, and dozens of people helped welcome the monumental occasion.

Bill, who is thought to be one of the oldest full-time Ikea staff members, said he has no plans of stopping working, saying his co-workers are 'like his family'.

Bill is thought to be one of IKEA's oldest full-time staff members

Bill, from Wednesbury, said: "I enjoy working every day for Ikea Wednesbury, I’ve worked here since 1995 after not getting through when I first applied in 1990.

"Where else would you get this, a company that treats you equally and celebrates milestones like this? I wouldn’t get this in a retirement home and my co-workers are like my family."

The now 89-year-old is one of the most famous faces in Ikea UK, even meeting company CEO Jesper Brodin after he visited the Wednesbury store when it was named the 'global store of the year 2022'.

Bill also had the pleasure of meeting Ikea's founder, Ingvar Kamprad, before the latter's death in 2018.

Bill Rogers and Champa Patel are two of the oldest employees working at Ikea in the UK. Photo: Ikea.

Bill's line manager, Alice Cox, talked about the incredible achievement, she said: "Bill is a hardworking gentleman who still works five days a week full-time which is just incredible for an 89-year-old.

"He is the eldest in our store, and one of the eldest in the company all over the world, so what a beautiful moment we had to celebrate a wonderful man we have in our company.

"He is a pleasure to work with and puts 100 per cent into every day, his relationships with everyone around the store are so heart-warming and he is just a fantastic worker and we are so lucky to have him."