WHILE watching an episode of Record Breakers as a boy, David Blandy made a promise to himself that one day he would swim the English Channel.

Now, 36 years later the dad-of-three has proved dedication is what he’s got after achieving his gruelling ambition.

A member of the Gloucester Park Swim Fit Club, Dave achieved the amazing feat in 14 hours and 10 minutes - after being pushed miles off course by the strong current.

The challenge started at 10pm on Monday at Dover with Dave, of Clarence Road, Corringham finally reaching the shores at Cape Blanc Ness in France, some 42.5 nautical miles later.

“The last few hours were really hard. I had to swim an extra five miles because I was pushed so far off course because of the current,” said Dave.

“It got very hard to carry on but I was determined not to give up.

“My shoulders are still hurting now. I had some champagne at the end but I had to drink it through a straw as I couldn’t even lift the glass!”

Dave, 44, a mechanical maintanence fitter at Procter and Gamble, raised £1,000 for St Luke’s Hospice in Basildon through the swim, which he trained for at Gloucester Park Swmming Pool - and the 15 foot long paddling pool in his back garden.

“Because I do shifts I had to sometimes train in my paddling pool. I’d tie a cord around me and just swim for two hours almost ‘on the spot’,” he said.

“Thankfully they’ve got underwater Ipods now so I could listen to music while training.”