A Mansfield Guinness World Record holder has dedicated his certificate to a young teacher who tragically died in March this year.
Father-of-two David Wileman (41) knocked out 77 press-ups wearing a 40lb backpack in front of a live assembly audience of 500 children at Mansfield’s St Philip Neri Primary School, including his two children, last year.
David said he had been saddened by the news that Hannah Gamage, a reception teacher who had watched his attempt, had died of bowel cancer and hoped the certificate would serve as a memorial to the 26-year-old.
Bill Lewis, St Philip Neri headteacher, who acted as officiator during the attempt, said: “We were deeply moved by David’s offer because Hannah’s passing had a tremendous impact on the school.
“She was a lovely woman and a superb teacher, loved by parents, staff and children.
“It is a fantastic thing to do - and I am really knocked over by it.”
Since Hannah’s death, staff, parents and pupils have all been fundraising for cancer charities to keep the young teacher’s memory alive.
So far, the JustGiving page which Hannah set up to raise money for Cancer Research UK after she was diagnosed in December last year, has raised £23,315.
David was given confirmation this week that he had beaten the previous record holder, Ghazi Abi Saad, of Beirut, Lebanon, by four press-ups.
The record breaker, who spent eight years in the British Army Parachute Regiment, had to wait months for the confirmation from Guinness World Records.
He said: “They took nine press-ups off me because my arm did not lock correctly, but I have still got the record.
“I do not know if I will do anything else now, but it is nice to know I have a world record.
“My kids are chuffed because Mr Lewis has announced the confirmation during assembly.”
David’s record attempt, which he had to complete in one minute, was part of a fundraising campaign for ex-serviceman’s charity Help for Heroes.
He said: “The charity does some good work rehabilitating people at Henley Court, down in Surrey. It was a way of giving something back.”
If you would like to donate to Hannah Gamage’s JustGiving page visit www.justgiving.com/gams-girls.