You’ll know the name, now get to know the person. Paul Williams is retiring this month at the age of 85 after working in sales at Actifwear since 1978. He talks about gardening, going to space and his love of Kinsale in Ireland

How long have you been working in the industry?
I had a variety of jobs – canvassing for Davenports Brewery, crane driver at the Corus steelworks, head gardener at Rockingham Castle – before I commenced work as a salesman in 1978 for Actifwear in Market Harborough. I have seen many changes in this time from a humble beginning in a converted farm building to our present day modern unit. We used to do party planning, but now concentrate on print and embroidery, supplying a wide range of customers – from Aldi, Debenhams, and the RAF Air Cadets to the local heating company.

What’s the best thing to ever happen to you at work?
When the first customer I called on in Luton purchased all my stock, so I returned to the factory with an empty van on the same day.

Which tune can’t you get out of your head at the moment?
As we are fast approaching Christmas it has got to be ‘White Christmas’ by Bing Crosby

What’s your favourite TV show?
Antiques Roadshow

Salt and vinegar or cheese and onion?
Cheese and onion

What is the most embarrassing thing that’s ever happened to you at work?
I was asked to deliver an extremely urgent delivery to a depot in Hinckley, but ended up very red faced when the back doors were opened and the van was empty, as unbeknown to me the boxes had been taken off to double check the quantity.

What’s your most unappealing habit?
Interrupting people when they are talking

What’s your guilty pleasure?
Milk chocolate raisins

What’s your hidden talent?
Knowing that most of the problems at work can be solved with a bit of effort. My favourite saying is ‘The joys of the rag trade’.

If you could do whatever you want to when you retire, what would it be?
Be a passenger on Richards Branson’s Virgin Galactic spacecraft

What is the best place you’ve ever visited?
It has to be Kinsale, County Cork, where my wife comes from – for the scenery, restaurants and Irish humour

Which gadget or app couldn’t you live without?
My mobile

If you could ask one person (living or dead) one question, what would you ask?
I’d ask Arsène Wenger how he always sees any fouls the opposition commit, but misses any that Arsenal do.

Paul and friends in his favourite place – Kinsale in County Cork

Paul and his wife Noreen after winning a local pumpkin competition when he was head gardener at Rockingham Castle

Never seen an Arsenal foul…!

No contest!