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Many ways to stand tall among friends.

I HAVE always wanted to be that extra inch or so taller.

Maybe I should have a back operation like my mate Kev the Sparky. He's just gained an inch after surgeons fitted a titanium rod to his spine.

His condition was the result of a career of adopting strange positions to facilitate electrical work. All that bending, kneeling and crawling under floorboards has taken its toll and he's had several operations at Leeds General Hospital.

"I'm so well known there I go to their Christmas parties," he says.

He was 6ft when he joined the Royal Navy as a teenager but damaged discs in his spine had shrunk his posture.

After his most recent op to fit the rod and hold it in place with titanium screws, he is more upright and has gained height.

"I'm now full of titanium," he said. "I've told the wife when I die don't bother with a funeral.

"Take me to a scrapyard and melt me down. " Being on the short side has never really bothered me and I have never been heightist. Some of my best friends have been tall like Kev.

I shared a flat with Ted who was 6ft 6ins. When I was having a rant during football training he held me upside down by my ankles until I stopped.

Big John was 7ft and we famously called in a pub on our way to a fancy dress party: he was wearing a frock.

Rag who, on a foggy day might be mistaken for Clint Eastwood, is a danger to ceiling fans and is a pain in the neck at the bar because I have to look up all the time. It would be nice not to have to.

But extending my back would not be the answer. I have a long body and 28.5ins legs. Ideally, I would need leg extensions.

Maybe I should try stilts? They're cheaper and less painful than an operation.

Except for when you fall over.

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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Huddersfield Daily Examiner (Huddersfield, England)
Date:Sep 22, 2015
Words:344
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