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Bishop Auckland man to follow grandfather as he carries torch for Games
A YOUNG sportsman will complete a family double when he follows in the footsteps of his Olympic torchbearer grandfather in the Paralympic torch relay.
Lee Maddison will carry the beacon past City Hall, in London, during a 24-hour relay through the capital ahead of the London 2012 Paralympic Games.
Mr Maddison, from Sedgefield , in County Durham, was selected by Lloyds TSB in recognition of his achievements in the disability sport of boccia, which is similar to bowls.
The 25-year-old, who has cerebral palsy, plays boccia for England and with friend Chris Jackson has launched a club in County Durham to encourage more disabled people to take part.
His grandfather, Bill Routledge, from Bishop Auckland , carried the Olympic torch along Claypath, in Durham City, during the nationwide relay before the Olympics.
Mr Maddison said: “I couldn’t believe it when I found out, especially when my granddad got to carry it as well.
“It is a once-in-a-lifetime thing for us both.”
Mr Maddison will carry the torch in memory of his father, Tony, who died when he was four.
His involvement in the Games will not end when he passes on the flame on August 29 as the next day he begins a week of voluntary work as a Games Maker.
He also has a ticket to watch boccia on September 7 and dreams of himself competing in Rio 2016, having missed out on a place in this year’s Great Britain squad after a trial.
Mr Routledge said: “It is marvellous, I think it is unique that a grandfather would carry the Olympic torch then his grandson the Paralympic torch.
“My day was an incredible experience, but now it is his chance to shine. I’m so proud and it is a great honour for us both.”
The 79-year-old was nominated to be one of the 8,000 torchbearers for the Olympic relay by his grandson for helping to raise him after his father’s death, supporting him in boccia and fighting cancer two years ago.
Mr Maddison’s club, Boccia Durham, is based at Sedgefield Community College and there are plans to run sessions at Freeman’s Quay Leisure Centre, in Durham City.
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