A D-Day veteran who jumped 15,000ft from an aeroplane has become the oldest person in the world to skydive – and a Sale man was right by his side.

Bryson William Verdun Hayes, known as Verdun, smashed the current world record on Sunday, completing a tandem skydive at an airfield in Devon at the grand old age of 101 years and 38 days.

Speaking as he touched down, the former lance corporal in the Royal Signals said "hooray" and added that he was feeling "absolutely over the moon" at completing the challenge.

Knutsford Guardian:

Verdun Hayes has become the oldest person in the world to skydive at the age of 101 and 38 days. Skydive Buzz/PA Wire

The great-grandfather only tried skydiving for the first time last year when he reached 100 but breaking the British record for the oldest skydiver was not enough for him.

Verdun, who said a parachute jump was something he had wanted to do since he turned 90 - but was talked out of it then by his late wife - was determined to take the world record and beat its previous holder, Canadian Armand Gendreau, who skydived in June 2013 aged 101 and three days.

The widower took to the skies with 10 members of his family at Skydive Buzz in Dunkeswell, all raising money for the Royal British Legion.

Iain Harrop, of Pulford Road, Sale, is a close friend of the family and he decided to take the leap alongside Verdun and Verdun’s children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Knutsford Guardian: Iain Harrop, from Sale, took the leap with Verdun, to celebrate his 50th birthday

Iain Harrop, from Sale, took the leap with Verdun, to celebrate his 50th birthday

As well as raising money for the Royal British Legion, the 50-year-old raised cash for Sale Cricket Club.

“I was absolutely thrilled to be part of Verdun's world record jump, amazing experience,” said Iain.

“I learnt to walk in Verdun's garden and I never dreamed I would be jumping out of a plane with him at 50 and him at 101.”

Verdun, from Croyde, Devon, served in the Army during the Second World War and was presented with a Legion d'honneur for his heroic actions in Holland, Belgium, Germany and in Normandy, France.

He was named Verdun after his father Joseph Hayes, who served in the First World War as a Sapper with the Royal Engineers and who fought during the Battle of the Somme, wrote home to his pregnant wife Mary from the front line suggesting they call their child Verdun after the 1916 battle.

Knutsford Guardian: Verdun Hayes with fellow skydivers, including Iain, after he broke the world record on Sunday

Verdun Hayes with fellow skydivers, including Iain, after he broke the world record on Sunday

Verdun himself served as a signaller and wireless operator for the Royal Signals during the Second World War.

He returned to Normandy in 2016 as a beneficiary of the Royal British Legion's Remembrance Travel arm.

A spokesman for the Royal British Legion said: "We are very proud of Verdun's achievements and his family's support for the Royal British Legion and the money raised recognises the service and sacrifice made across all generations of the British Armed Forces.

"The money raised will help support individuals and families from across the generations of our armed forces community."