Search

Dereham grandad to run with Olympic torch in Lancashire after address mix-up

06:30 21 June 2012

John Richardson is to run a leg of the Olympic Torch relay in Lancashire. Picture: Ian Burt

John Richardson is to run a leg of the Olympic Torch relay in Lancashire. Picture: Ian Burt

Archant © 2012

Lifelong runner John Richardson will be fulfulling a dream of carrying the Olympic torch tomorrow – but will have to travel to the other side of the country for his 300 metres of fame due to a computer glitch.

The 58-year-old, from Vienna Walk in Toftwood, Dereham, known as the running grandad, will be taking part in the torch relay in Fleetwood, Lancashire, which is a five-and-a-half-hour car journey from his home.

He was nominated by grandson Harry Monument, nine, from Thorpe St Andrew, near Norwich, because of his commitment to Dereham Runners and the weekly 5km Norwich park run events at Eaton Park.

The former Fleet Street employee was one of the 8,000 people selected by the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) to be a torchbearer.

John, who has four children and six grandchildren, said: “They [LOCOG] said my address came up as Vienna Walk, Dereham, Lancashire, but I can get a Friday night in Blackpool so it isn’t too bad. It could have been the Shetland Islands, or further north.

“I thought it was going to be in Norwich and I rang them [LOCOG] up but they said I couldn’t change it. I thought for about 10 seconds but it was too good an opportunity to miss.

“I never dreamt I would be picked. I’m not one to push myself forward – it came as a complete shock. There must be people who are more deserving than me, such as soldiers and other heroes. I just support the local athletics club.”

Supporting John in Fleetwood will be Harry, his granddaughter Thea Monument, five, daughter Julia Monument, 32, and son-in-law Philip, 37.

A lifelong Olympics fan, John was inspired to start running after watching the first London Marathon in 1981.

After running several half-marathons and marathons, John set himself a challenge when he was 50 years old to complete 100 half-marathons by his 60th birthday and has so far run 93.

John, who will be an Olympic volunteer in London, said about the event: “I wasn’t around in 1948 and I don’t think I will be around when the Olympics comes to our shores again.

“I think it is the greatest sporting event to happen in my lifetime,” he added.

The next in our series of London Calling supplements in the build-up to the Olympic Games is in the EDP on Wednesday, June 27.

sophie.wyllie@archant.co.uk

0 comments

Other Fakenham and Wells sport

Yesterday, 00:24
The Norfolk Cricket League is under way for 2016.

The new Norfolk Cricket League season began with lots of excitement as this year sees the league fully regionalised and covering the whole county, writes Mike Ridout.

Yesterday, 00:20
Action from Norwich second team playing Acle at Postwick. Acle congratulate their bowler, 2nd left, Peter Nobbs, for bowling out Norwich batsman Alex Mhandu. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

It was a day to forget for Fakenham as the Norfolk Alliance programme got under way in earnest at the weekend, writes Chris Wise.

Wed, 09:44
Kimberley Morrison in action at Ironman70.3 Pays d'Aix 2016 in France. Picture: Submitted

Kimberley Morrison crossed the finishing line at Ironman70.3 Pays d’Aix with a beaming smile as her professional career continued to progress steadily.

Mon, 06:30
Great Yarmouth Town toast their promotion.

Fakenham Town completed a great escape on the final day as their 1-0 win at Walsham-le-Willows saw the Ghosts climb out of the Premier Division relegation zone, writes Mark Armstrong.

Most Read

Wed, 09:51
Everton's Ross Barkley (right) and Manchester United's Marouane Fellaini battle for the ball during the Emirates FA Cup, Semi-Final match at Wembley Stadium, London. Picture: Nick Potts/PA Wire

Marouane Fellaini and Robert Huth have both been charged with violent conduct by the Football Association.

Read more
Norwich City
Wed, 11:19
Ryan Giggs and Norwich Manager Alex Neil during the Barclays Premier League match at Old Trafford, Manchester. 
Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Here’s how you can follow Norwich City’s clash with Manchester United if you can’t make it to Carrow Road on Saturday.

Read more
Twitter
Wed, 12:27
Matt Jarvis and Declan Rudd with an example of the British Red Cross initiative which will feature on Norwich City shirts against Manchester United, in place of usual shirt sponsor Aviva. Picture: Aviva

The British Red Cross will feature on the shirts of Norwich City players during Saturday’s match against Manchester United, thanks to the generosity of the Canaries’ main shirt sponsor Aviva.

Read more
Premier League
Tue, 07:00
Nathan Redmond was denied in Norwich City's 1-0 Premier League defeat at Arsenal. 
Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Alex Neil insists Norwich City do not lack Premier League match-winners to prevail in a relegation dogfight.

Read more
Norwich
Wed, 06:42
Sebastien Bassong of Norwich in action during the Barclays Premier League match at Carrow Road, Norwich
Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd +44 7904 640267
16/04/2016

Norwich City must recapture the spirit of Old Trafford and believe they can avoid the dreaded drop, insists Sebastien Bassong.

Read more
Norwich City

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 15°C

min temp: 10°C

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Fakenham and Wells Times e-edition today E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up