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Meet Alfie, the eight-year-old ‘leapling’ who’s only had two birthdays

PUBLISHED: 06:29 29 February 2020 | UPDATED: 10:01 29 February 2020

Alfie Nicol is eight but is celebrating just his second birthday because he was born on February 29 on a leap year Picture: Chris Bishop

Alfie Nicol is eight but is celebrating just his second birthday because he was born on February 29 on a leap year Picture: Chris Bishop

Archant

If you think he looks a little big to be celebrating his second birthday today, you might have a point.

For Alfie Nicol, from Reffley in King's Lynn, was born a "leapling", arriving on February 29, 2012.

"He was due on February 15 and I always said I'd have him early so it didn't even cross my mind it was a leap year," said Alfie's mother Sophie Nicol, 35.

"Even when I went in to be induced on February 28, it didn't even dawn on me. It was only a couple of days after he was born that I realised."

There are reckoned to be less than 5m leaplings in the whole world, with the odds around one in 1,461 for a baby to be born on February 29.

The date is also traditionally the one day where women can propose to their partners.

But being a leapling does have its disadvantages. Ms Nicol said: "The head at the infant school said he was the only child to go through the entire school without having a birthday."

Alfie plans to celebrate his second (or eighth...) birthday with not one but two parties with family and friends on Saturday.

"The next time his birthday falls on a Saturday is 2048, said Alfie's gran Sue Nicol. "He'll be 36 but that'll be his ninth, I'll be 89."

Alfie, who hopes to one day become a police officer, enjoys golf, cricket and swimming - along with the inevitable computer games.

He said he would be putting any birthday money towards the Lamborghini he is already saving up for.

Leap years happen every four years. They are added to the calendar because with 365 days it is out of synch with the Earth's orbit around the Sun of 365.25 days.

If an extra day was not added every four years, the seasons would drift out of synch.


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