Oldham’s ‘Running Man’ said he was 'proud' to be representing his town at the coronation of King Charles.

Afruz Miah, 49, had thought it was some sort of 'prank' when he got the invite. But once there he managed to make the most of his time grabbing a selfie with former Prime Ministers John Major, Gordon Brown, David Cameron, Boris Johnson and the man presently in charge of the country Rishi Sunak.

He told us: “Only 2000 people were in attendance from all around the world. To be recognised in this way was amazing.

“I thought the invitation was a prank at first as the week before receiving the invitation from the King I received an email saying I had won £180,000. Then I looked at the invitation properly and found it to be genuine. 

“Few weeks later I received a formal invite from Buckingham Palace. I was disappointed that I couldn’t take my wife with me to the event.

“It didn’t kick in till the morning of the coronation and I saw the atmosphere."

Asian Image:

Afruz poses with Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer 

Asian Image:

Afruz said: "The level of security was intense. Once we entered Westminister Abbey we realised the enormity of the event where the world media had gathered.

“During the ceremony I sat right at the front. I was sat next to one of the members of the Privy Council. The Archbishop of Canterbury and other high level dignitaries approached him and spoke to him and even King Charles winked at him. I thought he may have winked at me.

“I had my BEM medal on my chest. I noticed that other guests had 8, 9 or even 10 medals on their chest! I felt proud to be amongst the people who were attending this once in a generation event. I realised I was honoured in this way due to my charity work.

“I have been supported by the local community and the wider community at large. My charity work started three years ago after being diagnosed with high blood pressure.” 

He has since run from Oldham to London twice during Ramadan amongst many other campaigns such as skydives and climbing Mt Kilimanjaro. 

He hopes by the end of the month to reach the milestone of £1 million raised for charity.

Afruz added: “I will turn 50 next month. I have been part of the Oldham community for a long time and have worked in takeaways and restaurants and in the field of education. I received the BEM from the Queen before she passed on.

“For me to be recognised for my work shows that if you do things with the right intention for the people the recognition and awards will follow. You have to serve in order to get recognised like this.

“My family are very proud that I was part of history. The King is very inclusive as he said in his speech that he is the King of all communities and he is a defender of all faiths.

“It was a surreal experience, it only hit me when I sat down and the Coronation started and Queen Camilla and the Royal family walked past which was when the penny dropped that this was a massive thing happening in front of my eyes.

“Who knows if we will live to see something similar again in our lives. I managed to speak to Rishi Sunak, Boris Johnson and the First Minster of Scotland Hamza Yousef.

"I was also honoured to meet the Canadian PM and Gordon Brown. They were very approachable and open.”