Sheffield war veteran, 90, honoured after heart operation

Second World War paratrooper Bert Marsh, who was honoured at an event organised by Sheffield City Trust. Bert, 90, received help from the charity when he joined Graves Tennis and Leisure Centre following a triple heart bypass operation. Credit: Sheffield City Trust/Community Newswire. See PA Community Newswire story HEALTH Paratrooper for full details.
Second World War paratrooper Bert Marsh, who was honoured at an event organised by Sheffield City Trust. Bert, 90, received help from the charity when he joined Graves Tennis and Leisure Centre following a triple heart bypass operation. Credit: Sheffield City Trust/Community Newswire. See PA Community Newswire story HEALTH Paratrooper for full details.
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A World War Two veteran who underwent a triple heart bypass operation has been honoured by the charity that helped him get back on his feet.

Former paratrooper Bert Marsh, aged 90, was guest of honour at an event organised by Sheffield City Trust.

After his operation in 2009 Bert was referred to Graves Tennis and Leisure Centre, which is run by Sheffield International Venues on behalf of the Trust.

He completed a 12-week cardiac rehabilitation course and still attends sessions at the centre’s Fitness Unlimited gym three times a week.

Bert, from Crystal Peaks, was presented with a lifetime gym membership at the ceremony.

He also spoke to guests about his time in the 12th Yorkshire Parachute Battalion, when he fought in Normandy in 1944 and took part in the D-Day landings.

Bert, who worked as an engineer after his military career, and has seven grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren, said: “I was so surprised and honoured to have been awarded this.

“Graves is a great place to be able to go and exercise and all the staff are welcoming, which makes it really enjoyable. It is so important for everybody to be able to be active, no matter how much or little you can do.”

Bert is a supporter of the British Heart Foundation and has raised more than £3,000 for the charity since 2010.

More than £300 was collected at the event in his honour.

Sheffield International Venues spokeswoman Dawn Hickman said: “There was complete silence in the room when Bert told us his story.

“He stood up for an hour-and-a-half at the age of 90, making us all laugh and bringing tears to our eyes. It was a great evening and we were proud to be a part of Bert’s celebration alongside the BHF.”