AN energetic pensioner went the extra mile to give £565 to his favourite South Tyneside maritime charity.
Stewart Temple raised the cash for the Mission to Seafarers in Mill Dam, South Shields, by completing his 14th Great North Run last month.
The 84-year-old is delighted, not only with the amount he raised, but also the fact that he trimmed three minutes off his time last year.
He said: “I did it in 2hrs 56min, which is three minutes, off last year’s time. I was very pleased with that.
“One of the ways I raised money was to run a sweepstake on the notice board at the mission. People paid £1 to guess my time.
“I think most were expecting me to be slower as nobody guessed correctly.”
For Mr Temple, from Jarrow, the mission is a cause close to his heart.
The father–of–two used to be an engineer in the Merchant Navy, until he retired in 1973 and, since then, he regularly helps out with the charity.
He said: “Being a retired seaman, I think the mission is very important. Over the years I’ve probably raised about £30,000.
“The cash gets spent on whatever we need, things like new televisions for example. We will get together to decide where it goes.”
Despite his advancing years, Mr Temple, who trains at the gym every morning, has no plans to call it a day.
He said: “I’ll be doing the run again next year.
“It was quite tough this year due to the weather. But I’d like to thank everyone who came and stood in that awful rain to cheer us on. They were the real heroes.”
Diane Erskine, the mission’s welfare officer, was delighted to receive the donation.
She said: “We are a charity so we depend on donations from people like Stewart to keep going. Every year he comes to us with his donation. He never lets us down.
“He certainly puts most to shame. I can’t even walk up the bank without getting out of puff, let alone do the Great North Run. He’s marvellous.”