Ex-soldier celebrates as he strikes gold in Birmingham river

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A former soldier was left ecstatic after striking gold while prospecting in the Birmingham river. Andy Brooke, 37, reportedly found a small piece of the gold while panning a stream in the city. However, the former squaddie is keeping its location discreet as he worries about causing a stampede to the West Midlands.

Mr Brooke, who once guarded the late Queen Elizabeth II, scours rivers for the prized mineral in his spare time after he was inspired by watching Discovery Channel show Gold Rush.

He added that he plans to return to the top-secret site to find the source of the metal, which, according to him, could make his fortune.

The former Irish Guardsman, who claims to have “gold fever”, told The Star: “I go out at least once a month – I’m obsessed with it.

“I want to travel the UK and aim to have a vial of gold from as many places as I can.”

He added: “I am perhaps the only gold prospector in Birmingham, but there are lots of metal detectorists.

“I would say if anyone wants to get outdoors and have a bit of fun, I would recommend anyone goes and does it.

“It’s hard work though and you have got to be persistent with it.”

The former solider has also discovered traces of gold from prospecting trips to Scotland and Wales – with his first discovery only coming after two years of back-breaking searches.

He identified the stream in the south of Birmingham – “near a golf course” – after it was listed in a British Geological Survey report as having signs of gold.

Any significant finds would belong to the Crown Estate as “mines royal” and would have to be declared.

He has featured his discovery on his YouTube channel “One Man and his Pan” after first visiting the stream just before Christmas.

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He said: “I found a few specks of gold at the bottom of the river.

“I’m going to go back again to the top of the stream – I want to see if I can locate the source – where the gold is actually coming from.”

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