Train driver finishes final ever shift after 52 years on the tracks
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A train driver has finished his final ever shift after an impressive 52 years working on the tracks.
Joe Crean, who hails from Glossop in Derbyshire, was left totally overcome with emotion when he walked onto the platform after having completed his last shift on the job he has spent more than half a century working in.
A cheering crowd of Joe's nearest and dearest gathered around for the momentous occasion at Manchester Piccadilly station.
The 69-year-old first began his railway career back in 1971, starting as a steward in the dining car for British Rail.
Reminiscing about his decades-spanning vocation, he revealed: "I have over half a century of cherished memories on the railway, and it means a lot to have shared my final journey with both my family and my railway family.
"I’m looking forward to spending more time with my wife, Christine, my sons Gary and Shane, and extended family, who thoughtfully came to see my final drive."
The managing director at TransPennine Express, Matthew Golton, said: "Joe’s retirement marks the end of an era, but his legacy and contributions towards the future generation of drivers will carry on."
The heartwarming moment has since pulled on the heartstrings of the internet with thousands of social media users rushing to share their congratulations for Joe after over five decades of service as well as wishing him well as he enters this exciting new chapter.
One Facebook user posted: "What a brilliant gentleman, good luck in your retirement."
"How lovely, happy retirement Joe," added a second.
A third commented: "Such an amazing long service taking people up and down in the train safely to their destinations daily. Congratulations. Wishing you a well deserved retirement."
"So many feel their loss as they leave their work for the last time," wrote a fourth, "if only each could receive such a farewell instead of a sad walk away from a working life they loved."
A sixth echoed: "This is heartwarming to see the support for him. An amazing journey I imagine he has seen it all, I wish him well in retirement."
A final Facebook user penned: "Congratulations to Mr.Crean on the long and dedicated innings.
"Happy retirement. Make the most of the time ahead and now live life to the fullest. You have not only earned it, but deserve the best of all that is yet to come."
Happy retirement, Joe!