The world’s oldest goldfish has lost its title after just two days – after a couple revealed theirs have been going strong for over 40 YEARS.
Fred and George were won as a prize at a fair in 1974 by Keith Allies for his then 18-year-old girlfriend Mary.
The couple married five years later and have kept the goldfish ever since – which have even gone on to outlive two family dogs.
Despite having an expected lifespan of just ten years – with fairground fish often living much shorter than that Fred and George have amazingly survived for four decades.
Keith, 71, and Mary, 58, said they have been left astounded by their pets fin-credible life-span, which makes them possibly the oldest living goldfish in the entire world.
Today (Fri) Mary said the couple are starting to think Frank and George will end up outliving them.
The former bank worker added: “We didn’t think they would last a few months – let alone 40 years. We are starting to believe we’ll be the first one’s to go.
“I think the secret to their long life is regular exercise, a diet of goldfish flakes and regular water changes.
“We saw on Wednesday (15/7) a 38-year-old fish was billed as the oldest and that is when we realised how special Frank and George are.
“They are little celebrities in our community, and everyone knows they are 40 so they were saying Youve got the oldest goldfish in Britain and possibly the world It is so exciting.”
The couple, from Worcester, said they first realised they may have record-breaking fish after the world’s oldest goldfish died in 2005 at the age of 45.
Mary added: About a year ago we walked into a pet shop in Devon, and when they heard Keith saying how old our fish are they said: My God, thats got to be some kind of record.
We checked it out and the oldest was 45, but hes dead so we thought we will get that in a few years.
So when people said the oldest living goldfish is 38 we thought Well they are not because ours are 40.
People are always really surprised when we tell them how old they are.
“We feed them a regular diet of goldfish flakes, so nothing special at all.
While they look fairly old, they are very lively, and they show no sign of slowing down.”
Mary named the goldfish after Keith won them for her by throwing a tennis ball in a goldfish bowl in the summer of 1974.
They have always been almost completely silver, although Fred now has a little gold on his dorsal fin.
Fred and George have outlived Keith and Marys two old English sheep dogs, which lived to 10 and 11, and now have company in six-month-old Herbie the hamster.
Mary added: “I was 18 when Keith bought them for me at Pitchcroft Racecourse fair in Worcester, and we had only been dating for about four months.
“They came with us to our first home, and for the next three times we moved.
They were with us when we married, and then when we had our daughter, Emma.
When she moved out they were still here. They really are family to us.
Retired engineer Keith, 71, added: 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 Im 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.
I havent got a shadow of a doubt that they will get the record and become the oldest ever and they will certainly outlive me.
“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 bowel for them, but after a year we upsized to a square tank that was three feet wide.
Theyve now been through seven bowels in total, but we only ever fill them with tap water.
The secret is feeding them regularly and showing them a lot of fuss.