Torchbearers Ben Kenyon, Tom Bolton and John May MBE with Cllr Val Richards

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A Lichfield man is celebrating a double success after being chosen to be one of the Olympic torchbearers in Lichfield. John May, aged 70, was handed the honour just months after being given an MBE in the New Year’s Honours List.
Torchbearers Ben Kenyon, Tom Bolton and John May MBE with Cllr Val Richards
He is the founder and organiser of Lichfield Talking Newspaper and a volunteer driver for Lichfield Live at Home and Arthritis Care. “This is turning out to be quite a year for me.” John said.”First I was awarded an MBE by the Prince of Wales, and then I found out that I would be carrying the Torch in the summer. “I moved to Lichfield about 40 years ago and have loved living here ever since. I am thrilled to bits that I have been chosen to represent Lichfield as a torchbearer, and just hope that I can run the full distance.” Burntwood sixth form student Tom Bolton will also be carrying the flame as it travels through the city as a reward for 11 years of fundraising work. The 17-year-old Friary School pupil, who has cerebral palsy and uses a wheelchair, has been a strong supporter of Comic Relief and Children in Need. John and Tom will be joined by Nether Stowe School student Ben Kenyon as the Olympic torch travels through the city. Fifteen-year-old Ben has Asperger syndrome, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and oppositional defiant disorder and was nominated by his mum Becky for the work he has done for the National Autistic Society. He is part of a pilot scheme of young campaigners, working to raise awareness of Autism. Sebastian Coe, Chair of the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games, added: “The flame symbolises the Olympic spirit and its journey around the UK will bring the excitement of the Games to our streets. “Now that people know the route the Olympic flame will be carried along and the torchbearers for their community, they can start planning how they might celebrate and make it Lichfield district’s moment to shine.” An average of 115 Torchbearers a day will carry the Olympic Flame during its 8,000 mile journey around the UK before it arrives at the Olympic Stadium on July 27 for the lighting of the cauldron at the Opening Ceremony, signifying the official start of the London 2012 Olympic Games.


Founder of Lichfield Live and editor of the site.