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Haverhill great-grandfather, 87, walks 8.2 million steps in 2021 and sets himself another challenge in aid of St Mary's Church



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A Haverhill great-grandfather who clocked up more than eight million steps during 2021 is aiming to cover 300 more miles this month to raise church funds.

Gordon Adams, 87, walked 4,000 miles in a year – every step recorded by his trusty Fitbit – after resolving to build his immune system through fresh air and exercise.

“I look at my Fitbit every day and before I go to bed I put it down in my diary what I have done. It's come up 4,000 miles for the year," said Gordon, who is also known as the ‘Walking Grandad’.

Gordon Adams, 87, has walked 4,000 miles/8.2 million steps in a year - all logged on his Fitbit. Picture: Mecha Morton
Gordon Adams, 87, has walked 4,000 miles/8.2 million steps in a year - all logged on his Fitbit. Picture: Mecha Morton

The pensioner, who wore out five pairs of walking shoes during 2021, regularly covers 11 miles a day but in fine weather can walk 18 miles a day, which equates to 40,000 steps.

"At the moment, because it's wet, I only go round the housing estate, the west of Haverhill, round Chivers Road and round Arrendene Road as far as the town,” said Gordon.

"In the warmer weather, when the fields are not sticky, then I can walk across to Withersfield and Great Wratting. I don't like to go too far from home, I just go a reasonable distance so I can get back if I need to."

Gordon is aiming to hit 4,300 miles by his 88th birthday on 1st Feb - he was born on 1.2.34 - to raise funds for the friends of St Mary's Church. Picture: Mecha Morton
Gordon is aiming to hit 4,300 miles by his 88th birthday on 1st Feb - he was born on 1.2.34 - to raise funds for the friends of St Mary's Church. Picture: Mecha Morton

Gordon has set himself a target of walking a further 300 miles by his birthday on February 1 – Gordon was born on 1.2.34 – to raise funds for the Friends of St Mary's Church, in Haverhill, to pay for church repairs and an overhaul of toilet facilities.

“I didn’t start with the idea of fund-raising, I started with the belief that to beat things like Covid you need fresh air and exercise and that builds up your immune system,” he said.

“But as a member of the Friends of St Mary’s I felt I would like to raise some money. The main thing at the moment is to make sure repairs are done in the church.”

Gordon has been a bellringer at St Mary's since he moved to Haverhill in 1958, but learned how to ring in 1944 – pausing briefly after a doodlebug strike forced him to move from his Hertfordshire home – and even rang bells to celebrate VJ Day in 1945.

To sponsor Gordon, go to www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/thewalkinggrandad