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OAP racks up 7,200 skydiving jumps in four decades

The only way is down: George McGuinness, right, skydiving with his wife Geraldine  PICS: SWNS

A DAREDEVIL OAP has made an amazing 7,200 jumps in four decades of skydiving — equating to one every other day.

George McGuinness has averaged 180 jumps a year in his career, including taking the plunge with his wife in 1999 when they became the first couple to marry in mid-air.

Daredevil: George jumps for fun and at charity events

The 73-year-old even jumped just four months after having surgery to repair his knee in January 2019, after years of working as a carpet fitter gave him osteoporosis.

He sped up his recovery by doing intense physio to get him back to his hobby.

The Scot is currently missing the extreme sport as he is in self-isolation at his home in Blackpool, Lancashire, and cannot wait for it to be over so he can get into the sky again.

George remains modest about his impressive achievement.

He said: ‘I’m not setting any targets or thinking about the numbers — whether that be 8,000 or 10,000 dives.

‘It’s just about enjoying what I’m doing and making sure I’m doing it as regularly as possible.’

Loving it: George has averaged 180 jumps a year

George’s passion began in 1979 when he was put forward for a charity skydive by a friend.

George said: ‘I was more nervous for the second one. The first one was a thrill.

‘I still feel the same rush and adrenaline that I felt all those years ago. It never gets old.

‘Just because you perform so many times doesn’t mean you don’t still get the same level of apprehension.

‘Getting nervous before I jump keeps me safe and sane. Skydiving means everything to me. It’s what gets me up in the morning.

George is lucky that surgeons have been able to repair both his knees over the years. He had his first op on his left leg in September 2016 to get him back to full health.

Must be love: George with his wife Geraldine on there wedding day jump

He said: ‘If I had not had the operations, I would not have been able to do what I do — you need your strength in your knees for landing.’

George’s skydiving career has seen him being in charge of around 3,000 tandem jumps — where the instructors are responsible for activating the parachute and landing the device safely.

He has also trained groups of 12 in a PAC 750XL aircraft where they attempt to execute accelerated free-fall jumps and skydivers land themselves.

As an advanced diving instructor, he not only trains budding skydivers but those who also want to become instructors.

‘Not skydiving would have turned me old,’ he added.