Talk:Buster Martin

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more evidence needed[edit]

I only see newspaper articles cited, which notoriously repeat false age claims as fact. Mike Linksvayer 23:29, 3 March 2007 (UTC)

I agree with that comment - it seems suspicious to me that "Buster" won't give his first name and that his birth and marriage both took place in France, where records couild be said to have been misplaced during the war, rather than in the UKStruman

Sources[edit]

I just took out two references which weren't references, they were just statements which needed references themselves. I also added a moresources tag to the article because there are many unsourced statements. If you have any questions leave them on my talk page. Acidskater 00:19, 30 June 2007 (UTC)

Fair use rationale for Image:Buster Martin.jpeg[edit]

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BetacommandBot 05:25, 30 August 2007 (UTC)

Cited very well[edit]

If expanded, GA might be possible.-h i s s p a c e r e s e a r c h 15:58, 10 September 2007 (UTC)


Article contains publicity for Pimlico Plumbers?[edit]

The wikipedia article mentions Pimlico Plumbers 5 times. It is a company with a turnover of more than 10 million pounds. Max Clifford represents them, and many newspaper and TV reports on Martin mention them - see their website http://www.pimlicoplumbers.com/ and then "About us" and "Latest Press".--Kathlutz 7 March 2008

I wrote most of this article. The fact that Martin still works is a major part of his notability, and Pimlico Plumbers employs him. I don't see any publicity for the company here. CloudNine (talk) 16:23, 7 March 2008 (UTC)
Not sure how to reply so I hope I am doing this right. There is something odd about this, very different from Fauja Singh, the so far oldest London marathon finisher. All the stories about Buster Martin seem to come from PR releases by Pimlico Plumbers. Here's an interesting comment by Ollie Williams, a journalist for BBC sport (see http://www.dayorama.com/archives/002570.html), about filming Buster jogging along the Thames: "On Thursday I went to Lambeth to meet a gentleman who has already reached his century, having apparently been born back in 1906. That does not seem to be stopping his bid to run the London marathon in April. It was a slightly odd filming session. This gent nominally works for a local company as a cleaner, but I can't believe he's retained primarily in that capacity. Given we were the third film crew to arrive that day (the second being a pair of Swedish cameraman producing a documentary on "extraordinary old people"), and given our subject was branded head to toe in company logos, it was difficult to see him as anything other than a walking PR stunt." Why not replace "Pimlico Plumbers" by say a major London plumbing company?--Kathlutz (talk) 18:00, 7 March 2008 (UTC)
Because the job of an encyclopedia is to be specific and accurate as possible. The fact that Pimlico Plumbers is using him to perhaps advertise their services is irrelevant here. "All the stories about Buster Martin seem to come from PR releases by Pimlico Plumbers." By "the stories", do you mean the references cited in the article? CloudNine (talk) 18:19, 7 March 2008 (UTC)
Because the job of an encyclopedia is to be specific and accurate as possible - yep, the article needs a lot of cleaning up and verification. But never mind. I start to feel sorry for an old man who is made to amble along for 13 miles in over 5 hours with a group of 4 minders in a half marathon event, finishing 2 hours behind the last proper participant (who was already very slow as far as "running" goes, with a finishing time of 3 h!) so that his boss can have him photographed with a race medal in front of a plumbing company van and a company banner. I just hope that Harmander Singh knows what he's doing. And it doesn't really matter how old these guys really are. They are in the 75-80+ age category and it's great that they can still move about for so long and so far.--Kathlutz (talk) 19:56, 7 March 2008 (UTC)
"the article needs a lot of cleaning up and verification". Are you sure? The above comments on this talk page would suggest otherwise. Nevertheless, I'm sure Martin chose to run, but it's beside the point with regards to the article. CloudNine (talk) 21:14, 7 March 2008 (UTC)
Those of you who understand French, you just have to watch the French TV report about Mr Martin on the Plimlico Plumbers website (under Latest Press).--213.224.83.20 (talk) 07:29, 8 March 2008 (UTC)
Ok, let's leave out his real name (i.e. name under which he is registered with the NHS) and let's not mention the missing birth certificate. But why not also include the story about Buster the Boxer (see http://www.bbc.co.uk/london/content/articles/2007/01/31/bustertheboxer_feature.shtml), quote: ""I've boxed my whole life and it's kept me young. All I need is my boxing, my work and the pub. The last proper fight I had was when I was 92 and some young fella tried to mug me. He came off worse than me. I had to go to the hospital to visit him." --Kathlutz (talk) 00:12, 9 March 2008 (UTC)
I don't understand why you say Ok, let's leave out his real name -- but then I don't understand French. In the meantime I have added it to the article. --Michael C. Price talk 07:29, 12 March 2008 (UTC)
I haven't had as much time recently to contribute to this article. You're welcome to add to it (the missing birth certificate is definitely an omission here). Thanks for digging up those references! CloudNine (talk) 01:48, 9 March 2008 (UTC)
I am new to Wikipedia editing and unfamiliar with its quality standards. I am intrigued by the question of whether what we are being fed is useful necessary information, entertainment or PR but hesitate to make that choice for others. I was wondering, for example, about Mr Martin's London Marathon charity, the Rhys Daniels Trust. It did not look like an obvious choice. I see now that Max Clifford is the patron of the charity and Pimlico Plumbers is a client of Max Clifford. Now it makes sense.--Kathlutz (talk) 15:44, 9 March 2008 (UTC)

Removed comment about Martin Sheehan[edit]

I removed the comment about Martin Sheehan saying on the radio that he planned to trip up Buster Martin during his London Marathon walk. That's just publicity nonsense that has no value in an encyclopedia.--Kathlutz (talk) 09:03, 12 April 2008 (UTC)

FHM columnist?[edit]

Is Buster Martin actually writing for the FHM on a regular basis so that you can say that his occupation is columnist (as the Wikipedia article does now) or was this a one off publicity stunt last summer? Anybody here who reads this magazine?--Kathlutz (talk) 09:07, 12 April 2008 (UTC)

Footnotes are a mess[edit]

The footnotes are now a complete and utter mess. Besides, the value of all these newspaper references is doubtful. Many articles are just copies of other articles, not the result of a journalist's own research.--Kathlutz (talk) 20:59, 13 April 2008 (UTC)

A tissue of lies?[edit]

It seems likely that most of this story is untrue.

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article3740118.ece

'Mr Martin is an employee of Pimlico Plumbers, which is represented by Max Clifford and has an entire section of its website devoted to its oldest employee.' Max Clifford is of course responsible for fabricated stories as 'David Mellor wears Chelsea strip to bed', and 'Freddie Starr ate my hamster'.

'His wife, Iriana, he said, died in the mid-1950s, yet there is no record of her death. Among the 17 children he claimed to have fathered are Roberto, now 87, Rodrigues, 84, as well as triplets, Georgina, Georgia and Giselle, but The Times could find no record of their births. Mr Martin said that they had moved abroad. Guinness World Records was advised: “There is also downside risk associating Guinness with a questionable claim . . . more than just his age is in question, as ‘Buster’ Martin ‘likes to tell stories’.” '

It seems likely that the entire section labelled 'Biography' is a fabrication. How many of these are the tales of an old (how old?) man:

  • Martin says that he picked up his nickname "Buster" at age three for "whacking a priest on the nose"
  • Martin was thrown out of the orphanage at the age of ten "for eating too much and growing too fast".
  • 17 children
  • He met his future wife, Iriana, from Tonbridge, Kent[6], at the age of 13 (she was 12). They married a year later in France.

Is he aware that the legal marriage age in France was 15 for women, and 18 for men since 1804, until 2006?

Are there any army records? Has anyone met any of the alleged grandchildren?

How is it that he served in both army and navy? Is this usual?

I would suggest that all the 'biography' is BS. The only verifiable facts are about his documented modern achievements. 82.31.164.67 (talk) 00:42, 14 April 2008 (UTC)

From GRG: "In fact, a cursory glance raises a lot of red flags: he has declined reporter's requests for his first name; he claims to have been born in France (outside the reach of UK birth registration, hence); he has provided little family details (names, places of birth, year married, etc). The bottom line: if a claim looks too good to be true, it probably is. The lack of transparency is disturbing. Anyone who is really the age claimed and wants attention for it, would go out of their way to prove it...Buster's attempts to avoid even releasing his first name make me believe that he is a fraud...of course this means we can expect him to be around for years, and a potential future scandal (the reporters will only burst the case after they've done everything to build it up...remember Walter Williams of Civil War fame?). " —Preceding unsigned comment added by 82.31.164.67 (talk) 00:45, 14 April 2008 (UTC)

The newspapers love his stories, and judging from recent letters published on the internet, so does the majority of readers. The question is whether Wikipedia should present these unverified stories, gleaned from the media, as fact. Think about it. The following comment from a reader is perhaps as close to the truth as it will ever get: "It was reported in the South London a few months ago that Buster Martin fought off 3 armed muggers and then gave chase. If you believe that, then yes, of course, he is 101 - and I am the King of Spain. Buster drinks in my local and he has often kept us amused with his stories. For example, when he was in the Boer War he...........". (the Boer War ended in 1902). He tells stories, maybe from his life, maybe from the lives of people he once knew, maybe total fabrication, and people enjoy listening to him.--Kathlutz (talk) 17:14, 14 April 2008 (UTC)
The question is whether Wikipedia should present these unverified stories, gleaned from the media, as fact. Yes, we should report them; that is the function of Wikipedia. No, we should not report them (or anything) as fact. To report them as fact, or not the report them because we believe them to be false, would be to judge content, which is forbidden. Verification is not the function of Wikipedia. --Michael C. Price talk 11:55, 29 April 2008 (UTC)

Army records?[edit]

Martin claims to have served in the British Army and Navy for 35 years, as physical instructor and/or weapons instructur, and claims to have been a member of the renowned Grenadier Guards. Such a splendid record should be verifiable. Anyone?--Kathlutz (talk) 11:41, 29 April 2008 (UTC)

The records will either be with the MoD or the Grenadier Guards archives at Wellington Barracks. Unfortunately, as he's still alive (however old he is!), it's unlikely they'd be released to a third party. Martin could, of course, obtain them himself, if he wanted to dispel any of the doubts that seem to be going around. It seems he was born on 1 September either in 1906 or 1913, so if he joined the Army at the age of 14, it would have been in either 1920/21 or 1927/28. If he was born in 1906, he would have been turned 33 a couple of days before the start of the Second World War, and would have been 38 at the end of it in 1945, and 48/49 when he left the forces in 1955. If he was born in 1913, his ages would have been 26, 31, and 41/42 respectively.
Not convinced of the validity of the switch to the Royal Navy after the War if he left the forces with the rank of Regimental Sergeant Major, as that's not one of their ranks, even in the Royal Marines. If it refers to his claimed time in the Grenadier Guards, it shoudl be easy enough to pin it down, as there can only be one RSM in any one battalion at any one time. In the Patrick Barkham Guardian piece Martin claims that he was in Egypt on his 21st birthday in 1927, while it would have been 1934 had he been born in 1913. According to this page, the deployments of the Grenadier Guard's Battalions were as follows:
1st Bn.:
1925 London - Wellington Barracks
1927 Aldershot 1 Bde
1929 London: Tower 4 Bde
1931 Egypt
1933 England: Warley
1934 Aldershot 4 Bde
2nd Bn.:
1925 England: Aldershot 1 Bde
1927 London: Chelsea
1929 England: Aldershot 1 Bde
1931 London: Tower 4 Bde
1932 London: Wellington Barracks
1933 England: Windsor
1934 England: Aldershot 1 Bde
1935 London
3rd Bn.:
1924 England: Aldershot
1929 London 4 Bde
1933 Egypt
1935 England: Aldershot 1 Bde
If he was in the Grenadier Guards and the Egypt story is true, he can't possibly have been with the 2nd Bn., as they were never stationed outside of the UK between 1925 and 1935, and neither of the other two battalions were in Egypt in 1927. A lot would depend on the actual dates of deployment and which battalion he was in, but if was born in 1906 the only birthdays he would definitely have spent in Egypt would have been his 26th (1932/1st Bn.) or his 28th (1934/3rd. Bn.), or possibly the ones either side of those ages/years. If, however, he was born in 1913, he would definitely have spent his 19th (1932/1st Bn.) or his 21st (1934/3rd Bn.) in that country, or possibly the ones either side of those ages/years. Circumstantially, that's fairly solid evidence that if he really did spend his 21st birthday in Egypt, it could only have been in the 3rd Bn., and only in 1934, meaning he must have been born in 1913. Nick Cooper (talk) 13:55, 18 March 2009 (UTC)

About race numbers[edit]

I can no longer find Buster Martin's entry in the London Marathon 2008 results list although it was available for a long time after race day. There are several photos on the Pimlico Plumbers website which show him on race day with his race number 32858, both at the starting line and the finishing line, surrounded by his minders, all of them in blue Pimlico Plumbers outfits. Before race day, he was photographed with a different (dummy?) race number or number(s).KathaLu (talk) 10:46, 18 March 2009 (UTC)

Correction, the entry is still there: http://results-2008.london-marathon.co.uk/index.php?lastname=martin&firstname=&club=&gender=&nation=&event_id=MAS&position=&split=TIME01&Submit=show+results+%3E%3E&p=5&a=d&o=s&start_no=32858&ostart_no=
  • PERSON
  • Name MARTIN, BUSTER (GBR)
  • Runner No.: 32858
  • Club
  • Age group M80
  • TIMES
  • 5 km 0:55:42
  • 10 km 1:57:49
  • 15 km 3:08:48
  • 20 km
  • half
  • 25 km
  • 30 km
  • 35 km
  • 40 km
  • finish KathaLu (talk) 12:54, 18 March 2009 (UTC)
So basically it looks like he didn't complete the full event, right? Nick Cooper (talk) 13:25, 18 March 2009 (UTC)
No, not necessarily. There is no doubt that he reached the finishing line, got a medal, was photographed etc. It could be a technical glitch that his finishing time was not recorded automatically. The intermediate times were perhaps not recorded because he and his group took so extraordinary long. The time recording devices on the track were probably already dismantled by the time the group passed them, the roads were open to trafic again and they walked on the pavement. Thanks for your comments on military records.. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Kathalu (talkcontribs) 14:12, 18 March 2009 (UTC)
I've just added some more detail above, specifically as regards claims he was in the Grenadier Guards. Not looking very convincing. Nick Cooper (talk) 14:36, 18 March 2009 (UTC)

Sisters of Mercy - Source[edit]

The orphanage was run by the Sisters of Mercy, according to a BBC interview with Buster Martin in 2009, see http://www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/news/2009/10/091002_bustermartin_nh_cg.shtml

I find him very hard to understand but what he says about his life is consistent with earlier interviews. He also says, I think, that he used to run 40 miles with a full pack when he was in the Forces.

KathaLu (talk) 19:25, 13 October 2010 (UTC)

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