X

Cookies

Continue We want you to get the most out of using this website, which is why we and our partners use cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to receive these cookies. You can find out more about how we use cookies here.

Saturday, 20 December 2014

Subscriptions  |  evouchers  |  Jobs  |  Property  |  Motors  |  Travel  |  Dating  |  Family Notices

So Jedward and Will.i.am are more deserving?

I’m going to bang on about the Olympic torch again and the ‘qualifications’ needed to carry it.

We’ve had rock stars and self-indulgent pop stars from abroad, like Will.i.am, carrying the flame.

The latest nobodies to trash any honour or respect there might be attached to it are Jedward.

Yet we can’t find room for Bill Lucas.

Admittedly, Bill is now 95 and not in the finest fettle to jog along with the emblem of all that is great and true and inspirational.

But I’d volunteer to push him in a chair if needs be.

I think Bill qualifies for a go with the flame on a number of counts.

He flew an astonishing 81 missions for Bomber Command during the war, earning the Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC), for his bravery.

After the war, he took up athletics again and was selected to run for Great Britain in the 5,000 metres at the 1948 London Olympics.

Bill hadn’t quite recaptured his pre-war race form and was pipped on the line by an American in his semi-final.

“I was in a pretty good position for much of the race but I suffered from the heat. We’d been standing out in it for four hours in the opening ceremony a few days earlier which didn’t help. I’d been out of the service for 18 months too and living on normal rations so it wasn’t easy.

“All three of the British boys were below par and if I’d run to my normal pace I would have made the final.”

After his race, he caught the bus and tube home and went back to work in an insurance office, then returned for the closing ceremony. He heard nothing more from the British Olympic Association until they were recently pressured into announcing that surviving veterans of 1948 would be involved in the 2012 Games.

Bill, who was also a member of the Belgrave Harriers club for 76 years and was for many years the announcer for meetings at the old White City stadium, says he’s been told he’ll get two tickets, but doesn’t know what he will be watching.

So a hero, a former Olympian, someone who has given his spare time throughout his life to sport and encouraging others to join in, an inspirational figure...what’s missing?

Why can’t Bill carry the torch?

Because he ain’t a pop star?

SHARE THIS ARTICLE

News & Star What's On search





Vote

Are positive efforts to encourage more women into the nuclear industry necessary?

Efforts to better educate girls at school in sciences, technologies & maths would be more worthwhile

No, unless well qualified women are being turned away at Sellafield's door

Yes, girls and women need to know their career options are limitless

Show Result

Hot jobs
Scan for our iPhone and Android apps
Search for:
NEWS & STAR ON: