Britain’s oldest goldfish has died at the incredible age of 44 leaving his owner in tears.
George passed away peacefully on Wednesday (April 10) leaving owners Keith, 75, and Mary Allies, 62, from Worcester devastated.
Keith won George at a funfair in 1974 along with another fish called Fred, gifting the pair to his then girlfriend Mary.
The couple married five years later.
Despite having an average life span of five to 10 years, both George and Fred outlived the two family dogs.
Fred passed away two years ago aged 42, and now George will join him once again, this time buried alongside his old pal in Keith and Mary’s back garden.
Over the past month George has been struggling to swim, leaving the family fearing the worst.
Although Mary is heartbroken at the loss, she also draws comfort from the fact George lived a happy and long life.
The former bank worker said:
I called my daughter Emma in tears. After all these years he became a part of the family. He’d been struggling to swim for a around a month and hadn’t been the same since Fred died.
We didn’t think they would last a few years – let alone 40. We started to believe we’ll be the one’s to go first.
I think the secret to their long life was regular exercise, a diet of goldfish flakes and
regular water changes.
They were little celebrities in our community, people would tell us ‘You’ve got the oldest goldfish in Britain and possibly the world’.
According to the Guinness World Book Of Records, a goldfish named Tish lived until the grand old age of 43 making her the world’s oldest goldfish at the time.
So George could indeed be the new world record holder.
Before the pair’s sad deaths, retired engineer Keith was proud of the long lives Fred and George were enjoying.
I was so excited when I heard Fred and George are the oldest living goldfish in the country and possibly the world. I know it sounds ridiculous, but they are my best buddies, so I’m so happy for them.
We go on holiday to Devon a lot, but I can never be away from my babies for too long so I have to drive back after a week or so. They’re still as healthy and active as they were when we first got them – no-one can believe how old they are.
They really were special fish. RIP George and Fred.
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Emily Murray is a journalist at UNILAD. She graduated from the University of Leeds with a BA in English Literature and History before studying for a Masters in Journalism at the University of Salford. Emily has previously worked for the BBC, ITV and Trinity Mirror. When Emily isn’t writing about topics including mental health and entertainment, you can find her at the cinema which is her second home.