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Bury St Edmunds octogenarian Charlie thrilled as runners join him for birthday route



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A retired Bury Town Football Club groundsman was joined by a willing band of runners for his 80th birthday run.

Last month, Charlie Knights issued an appeal for people to join him on his daily two-and-a-half mile run in Bury St Edmunds on his birthday.

And at 9am on Saturday he was pleasantly surprised when more than 15 runners met him at the Bury Fire Station start.

Charlie Knights has run 2.5miles every day for the last five years and is marking his 80th birthday party with the same route he does every day....Picture: Mecha Morton. (57262323)
Charlie Knights has run 2.5miles every day for the last five years and is marking his 80th birthday party with the same route he does every day....Picture: Mecha Morton. (57262323)

Charlie used to mark the pitch at the town’s football club and one day started running around it. He has run or walked every day since and for the past five years has followed the same two-and-a-half mile route daily.

“As I got near to 80 I thought, I have got to do it on my birthday.

“It was fantastic. The turnout of runners was brilliant and the fire station gave great support – they all came round with me. The fire engine had to follow us where it could in case there was a call-out,” he said.

Charlie Knights has run 2.5miles every day for the last five years and is marking his 80th birthday party with the same route he does every day....Picture: Mecha Morton. (57262317)
Charlie Knights has run 2.5miles every day for the last five years and is marking his 80th birthday party with the same route he does every day....Picture: Mecha Morton. (57262317)

Charlie’s route took the group down Parkway, along Spring Lane and through Tayfen Meadow, up Beetons Way past West Suffolk Council’s offices, left by Newmarket Road and past West Suffolk College and then back to finish at the fire station.

The run normally takes him 25 minutes, but on his birthday he clocked a personal best of 19 minutes.

“I was obviously conscious of everyone running behind me,” said Charlie – who had asked his fellow runners if he could reach the finish line first.

Charlie Knights has run 2.5miles every day for the last five years and is marking his 80th birthday party with the same route he does every day....Picture: Mecha Morton. (57262321)
Charlie Knights has run 2.5miles every day for the last five years and is marking his 80th birthday party with the same route he does every day....Picture: Mecha Morton. (57262321)

Charlie, who was also joined by family members for the run, spent the rest of his day enjoying a celebratory meal at the Dog and Partridge, playing snooker for two hours at Pot Black and sharing birthday cake with his family.