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

Thursday, May 26, 2016
The lovely sound of bat on ball is filling the Norfolk airwaves.

Matt Collinge and Rob Setchell were the star men as Brooke recorded an impressive 110-win over morning leaders Cromer to join them at the top of the Premier Division table.

Thursday, May 26, 2016
Recently-crowned Premier League champions Leicester City are sending a side to Clipbush Park this summer. Picture: PA

Fakenham Town are set to host two prestigious pre-season friendlies this summer, writes Tony Miles.

Monday, May 23, 2016
MCCA Unicorns Knockout Trophy. Norfolk (batting) vs Cumberland at Fakenham Cricket Club. At the crease is Lewis Denmark. Picture: Ian Burt

Norfolk fluffed their lines at Highfield Lawn as they squandered the chance to win their Minor Counties Unicorns Knockout Trophy group.

Monday, May 23, 2016
Will Kennedy on (R) Thyne for Gold won the first race of the day. Picture: Ian Burt

Mercers Court completed a hat-trick for trainer Neil King and jockey Trevor Whelan when taking the Fakenham Ladies Day Chase in front of a large crowd yesterday.

Most Read

Sunday, March 20, 2016
Robbie Brady runs off to celebrate his winning goal with Patrick Bamford. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

Here are the national newspapers’ views on Norwich City’s 1-0 win at West Brom in the Premier League.

Read more
BBC
Saturday, March 19, 2016
Norwich City fans at Carrow Road.

Their team is embroiled in a relegation dogfight, but that has not stopped Norwich City’s devoted fans from snapping up season tickets in their thousands for next season.

Read more
Tuesday, August 20, 2013
Richard Daniels. Picture: Simon Parker

Diss Town boss Richard Daniels admits the Tangerines will be up against it tonight when they travel to his former club Gorleston.

Read more
Yesterday, 21:56
Action from the King's Lynn Stars v Swindon Robins - Niels Kristian Iversen in heat 1. Picture: Matthew Usher.

King’s Lynn once again performed late heroics to snatch an Elite League point despite a 49-44 defeat against high-flying Wolverhampton at Monmore Green.

Read more
Robert Lambert
Yesterday, 11:34
England's Ben Youngs goes over to score his side's third try during the Old Mutual Wealth Cup match at Twickenham Stadium, London. Picture: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire.

England have named Luther Burrell as the replacement for the injured Manu Tuilagi in their squad bound for Australia.

Read more
Wales

Local Weather

Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 12°C

min temp: 11°C

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

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

Newsletter Sign Up