Gerry Burks has emerged the oldest dad in Britain.
The lorry driver has broken records as the oldest known man who still prove his virility at such an old age. He has given the reason for his addiction to his constant eating of banana as his favorite fruit.
His wife Dawn, 41, conceived naturally and gave birth to 5lb 7oz Ryan by caesarean section two weeks ago. They already have a six-year-old son, Daniel. Mr Burks has three children from a previous marriage.
A retired lorry driver, he attributes his virility to bananas. The fruit is rich in potassium, zinc and vitamin B, which increase energy and aid fertility.
‘I think it’s wonderful and I am very proud,’ he said at the family’s terrace home in Louth, Lincolnshire. ‘I feel like the luckiest man alive.
‘People might say things about my years, but I look after myself. I’m young at heart. I don’t drink or smoke now, and Dawn’s pasta bake keeps me in good shape.
‘I eat lots of bananas and always have done. I don’t eat much salt and have home-cooked food.’
‘Maybe that’s what’s kept my body healthy. But I think the love of a good woman has a lot to do with it, too. I’m just doing what comes naturally.’
Ryan had breathing difficulties after he was born prematurely on March 12. He was placed in a special baby care unit until he stabilised. On the ward, staff had to make a note about Mr Burks’s age on his wife’s ante-natal records after he was mistaken for the baby’s grandfather.
Ryan is now thriving at home and Mr Burks is not ruling out having another baby.
He told the Sun: ‘Our family is complete now and I don’t think we’ll be having any more children. But who knows? I will be keeping myself healthy by running around, helping Dawn with the baby and looking after Daniel.’
Mr Burks divorced his first wife, Monica, in 1985 and moved into a bedsit. He met Mrs Burks, who lived in a neighbouring flat, in 1994.
The pair were just friends for years until Mrs Burks confessed her growing feelings.
She has a debilitating neck condition which required repeated surgery and did not meet many men her own age when she was younger, she has said previously.
The couple married in 2002 and had Daniel two years later, when Mr Burks was 69. He worked as an HGV driver to support his family until he was 71.
Mr Burks admitted: ‘I wasn’t a hands-on dad with my first children, but I am now. I help out wherever I can.
‘Baby Ryan just has to make a little sound and I’m over there making sure he’s all right. He isn’t up much through the night and Dawn gets up to feed him. I’ll ask her if there’s anything I can do to help, but she’ll tell me to go back to sleep.
‘I packed all the bad things up in the mid-1980s when my first marriage broke down. I don’t drink, except for a little glass of sherry on special occasions.’
Mrs Burks described her husband as a ‘natural’ at fatherhood. She said: ‘He was born to be a father – he is so good at it and so caring.
‘Gerry’s older, but young at heart. I’m younger, but have always been mature for my age. We met and kick-started each other’s lives
No one has made any negative comments to our faces, although some did post some nasty things on the internet. Gerry is not some dithering old man who has fathered a child he can’t look after. He’s fit and strong and has a youthful outlook.
‘If he lives well into his 90s, the boys will be grown up. Besides, I may go before he does – no one can predict these things.’
She added: ‘Gerry is my soul mate. We are aware we have something very special and value our time together even more because of the age gap. If you connect with someone and love them, it’s got to be right if they’re both adults.’
Their son Daniel said: ‘My dad might be the oldest, but he’s also one of the best. And my baby brother Ryan is super adorable.’
The world’s oldest father is Indian farmer Nanu Ram Jogi, who had his 21st child aged 90 in 2007.
Divorcee businesswoman Elizabeth Adeney, 66, became Britain’s oldest mother last year after travelling to the Ukraine for IVF because the NHS refused to treat women over the age of 50.
Her son Jolyonwas born by Caesarean weighing 5lb 3oz at Addenbrooke’s Hospital, in Cambridge, in May.