Happy Birthday: Marathon running star Fauja Singh turns 105
PUBLISHED: 13:45 07 April 2016 | UPDATED: 13:45 07 April 2016
A marathon runner famed for smashing the world record in the 90-plus age group celebrated turning 105 on Friday.
Fauja Singh, who lives in Goodmayes, has had not one but four parties to mark the occasion.
He recorded a video message in his native tongue, Punjabi, to thank well wishers and said: “Thank you to everyone who has had peace for me, I hope God blesses you.”
Fauja was “rediscovered” at the age of 89 when he took up running after the death of his wife, son and daughter, and trained with running club Sikhs in the City.
He went on to break records in the 200m, 400m, 800m and 3,000m as well as marathons, and starred in an Adidas advertising campaign alongside David Beckham and Muhammad Ali.
It has been a week of celebrations for the centenarian which began last Friday with a private family party at home.
His son Sukhjinder Singh said: “I am proud of my dad, I take inspiration from him – I am running my 12th marathon in London this year.
“He has retired from running but he still likes to walk a lot.”
Fauja, who didn’t learn to walk until he was five due to frail legs, has been a source of inspiration to many people, showing that age should never be a barrier.
In addition to a party put on by the Singh Sabha Gurdwara, High Road, Seven Kings, yesterday (Weds), Sikhs in the City trainer Harmander Singh said Fauja had travelled to events across London.
“A radio station in west London organised a celebration and our running club surprised him with a cake,” he said.
“He was feeling a bit under the weather, all the parties took a toll, but he is feeling much better now.”
Harmander said the 105-year-old visited his house to make copies of telegrams he received for his birthday from the Queen and the Department of Work and Pensions.
“He wants to show people and now he can take telegrams around with him wherever he goes,” he said.
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