The oldest goldfish which was as a prize at a funfair in 1974, has unfortunately passed away aged 44. ‘George’ was received as a prize alongside another fish called ‘Fred’ by Keith Allies, 75, as a romantic gesture for his then 18-year-old girlfriend, Mary.
The couple who got married five years later, kept the goldfish as pets. The two went on to outlive the family dogs. George surprised everybody by living for such a long time despite having a ten-year life span.
Unfortunately, the loving pet passed away before celebrating his 45th birthday. Fred had passed away two years ago aged 42 and now George will be buried alongside him in the couple’s garden.
Former bank worker Mary, 62, said the family had been left heartbroken at the passing of their beloved pet fish.
She 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.”
Meanwhile, Mary thought that George would outlive them both after being so strong for so many years.
She added: “We didn’t think they would last a few years – let alone 40. We started to believe we’ll be the ones 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.'”
Retired engineer Keith, 75, said previously: “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.
“We first had a little bowl for them, but after a year we upsized to a square tank that was three feet wide. They’ve now been through seven bowls in total, but we only ever fill them with tap water. The secret is feeding them regularly and showing them a lot of fuss.”
Well, it can be said that George and Fred have definitely left behind a legacy that will be hard to match.