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Birthday Guy really takes the cake

PUBLISHED: 15:53 28 January 2009 | UPDATED: 16:06 25 August 2010

birthday boy: Guy Ratcliffe bakes his cake with a little help from his friends.

birthday boy: Guy Ratcliffe bakes his cake with a little help from his friends.

A PENSIONER has defied the average short life-span of people with Down s Syndrome by celebrating his 70th birthday.

A PENSIONER has defied the average short life-span of people with Down's Syndrome by celebrating his 70th birthday.

Guy Ratcliffe, whose family believe him to be the oldest person with the condition in the UK, celebrated his birthday in Belvedere on Monday by baking himself a cake.

The keen music lover and gardener who attends Smerdon day centre, in Belvedere, grew up in Springhead Road, Erith as an only child.

Mr Ratcliffe's second cousin, Roger Clements, from Bexleyheath, said: "His mother was a strong lady who battled on his behalf and ensured that he gained as much independence as possible. We believe that Guy is the oldest living male in the UK with Down's Syndrome and probably number two in the world according to the Guinness World of Records.

"He clearly loves being with the team at Smerdon and in turn they find him an inspiration."

The Guinness Book of Records told Mr Clements that there was an 80-year-old man with Down's Syndrome in the USA.

When Mr Ratcliffe was born in 1939, the life expectancy of a child with Down's Syndrome was 25.

jules.cooper@archant.co.uk

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