A pensioner reported to be Britain’s oldest new father told of becoming a parent for the seventh time, at 78 – with a woman 54 years his junior.
Jamie Rai was born 10 weeks ago to Raymond Calvert, who is now 79, and his partner 25-year-old Charlotte, who has adopted his surname. The former shop owner and market trader described the little boy, who weighed 7lb 1oz at birth, as a “gift from God”.
“I am the most fortunate man in the world. It makes me feel 10ft tall,” he said. “The baby was planned and I did not use Viagra or anything like that.
“I didn’t actually think at my age that it would be possible to have a child, but he’s a beautiful little fella. I feel blessed. I look at that baby and I think, He’s so bloody healthy and good-looking – how did I make that?”’
Mr Calvert has six other children who are all older than his partner and range in age from 38 to 51. He raised them alone after his wife died 28 years ago and now has nine grandchildren.
He said he first met his partner following a three-year relationship with her mother. She was 16 at the time and joined him on caravan holidays with his children.
The pair only saw each other occasionally until about 10 years ago when she became friends with his 49-year-old daughter Denise.
Mr Calvert, from Winewall, Lancashire, said the age gap was never an issue.
“As time went by, Charlotte said she wanted a baby – and that she wanted it with me. I was delighted when Charlotte told me she was pregnant. It was a wonderful, wonderful feeling.”
Jamie was born at Airedale Hospital, near Keighley, West Yorkshire.
Ms Calvert, who left school with three A-levels and was on a childcare course before she fell pregnant, said: “I knew he’d be a great dad as he’s done such a good job with his own children. He has so much energy and vitality and is so caring.
“I conceived virtually the moment we stopped using contraception. I was gobsmacked because you just think it’s going to take a long time with somebody older. Ray’s face lit up when I told him and he was so happy.”
Mr Calvert is more than two years older than Dennis Ealam, who believed himself to be Britain’s oldest father after the birth of his daughter Jessie last December – two months after he celebrated his 76th birthday.
Mr Ealam, of Lincoln, came forward after 74-year-old Gerry Burks, of Louth, Lincolnshire, claimed the title of the nation’s oldest father when his 41-year-old wife gave birth to a boy.