Graham gearing up for 10k run - at 85

85 year old Graham Bell in training for the BUPA run in October
85 year old Graham Bell in training for the BUPA run in October

A WAR veteran who has devoted his life to charity work is proving you’re never too old to keep fit - by taking part in the Great Yorkshire Run at the age of 85.

Graham Bell is hoping to raise hundreds of pounds for the Sheffield Blind Institute and Brunswick Gardens Retirement Village in Woodhouse by running in the 10km race on October 9.

The former steelworker served in the Navy as a gunner during the Second World War, and fought at D-Day aged 17.

Six years ago Graham received an MBE from the Queen for his tireless work for local charities, completing hundreds of marathons and half-marathons since beginning to run aged 55.

Graham said he’s raised around £10,000 for good causes over the years, and is looking forward to taking part in the Great Yorkshire Run for the second time.

“It took me an hour-and-a-half last year, but at least I didn’t come last!” he said.

The pensioner has been training for the run by pounding the local streets around his home on Retford Road, Handsworth.

“I just want to keep fit and feel well,” said Graham, who lives with his wife Mary, 78, and has three children - Ian, 58, Karen, 55, and Fiona, 45, as well as six grandchildren. “I work out in the gym four times a week, and go for walks in the country. A friend of the same age can hardly walk.

“I believe in having good food and plenty of exercise.”

Despite his healthy lifestyle, Graham underwent a double heart bypass 12 years ago after suffering a minor heart attack.

“I couldn’t understand it. I was watching TV one night when I said to my wife, ‘This is it, I’m having a heart attack’. The next thing I knew I was waking up in hospital.

“It was the food I ate that brought it on. Now I eat 10 fruit and veg a day, not just five a day!”

Graham was nominated for his MBE by his French tutor. “It was very nice walking around the palace. The Queen said to me, ‘Are you still running?’ I wondered how she knew!”

Visit to sponsor him.