An improbable twist of fate saw schoolboy Seamus Clarke celebrate his 11th birthday just hours before his dad James. Seamus' father James marks his birthday today, on February 29, a date which only comes around every four years as a leap day.
While Mr Clarke is actually 44, in 2012 he will only ever have celebrated 11 birthdays on his actual birth date as one of a select batch of leap year babies. Despite missing out on a total of 33 birthdays since 1968, he admitted being born in a leap year does have its benefits. 'I'm used to missing out on my real birthday, but being born in a leap year did have its benefits when I was at school,' he said.
'You know what children are like - especially boys. We were always giving each other birthday bumps or beats. But I usually got away with it because on February 28 I'd tell them "it's my birthday tomorrow" and then on March 1 I'd say "my birthday was yesterday".'
Seamus turned 11 hours before on February 28, something he has enjoyed reminding his father of ahead of a planned joint party. 'Seamus finds it hilarious that he will turn 11 before me,' revealed James. 'He's been telling all of his friends at school and they have a good laugh - it's a real big deal for him.'