The strange tale of the Battersea man addicted to roller skating

An unemployed man with an addiction to roller skating made the Guiness Book of Records on Friday, May 18, 1984.

Steve Fagin became the fastest person ever on roller skates and the first person ever to have skated from John O’Groats to Land’s End.

Mr Fagin, who met Battersea MP Alf Dubs in a welcome back ceremony, skated from one end of the UK to the other in nine days.

The entry in the Guiness Book of records recorded a time of 9 days 10 hours and 25 minutes.

He broke the speed record between Manchester and Birmingham, travelling at an average of 10 miles an hour.

But there were a few hair-raising moments during his mammoth trip.

At Birmingham he lost his way and skated on toa motorway at Spaghetti Junction by mistake.

On another occasion he was so busy skating along and smiling at television cameras and crowds of well-wishers that he went crashing into a police van.

He was accompanied throughout his trip by friend and advisor Matthew Manclark, who was on motorcyle, as well as two other friends in a camper.

He raised £3,000 for charity, which went to Save The Children and the Association of Combined Youth Clubs.

Mr Fagin told the Borough News he was now sharpening his skates to cross America, from New York to California, in 90 days.

About £1,000 of the sponsorship money was raised by the Traders’ Association of the Arndale Shopping Centre in Wandsworth.

Centre manager, Jim Allan, presented him the cheque just before he embarked on his intrepid journey.

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