Olympic Torch on its way

PHOTO. KEVIN McGUINNESS.'Joshua Appleton of St Bede's RC Primary School with the 'Olympic Torch'
PHOTO. KEVIN McGUINNESS.'Joshua Appleton of St Bede's RC Primary School with the 'Olympic Torch'

Thousands of people in Chorley have set their alarms early to witness the Olympic Torch going through the town.

It’s an early start with the first torchbearer taking the flame on the A6 near Albany Science College at around 7.20am.

From there, the torch will head into Chorley town centre, through Euxton, and out to Croston.

See a map of the route by clicking here Click here to download our Olympic Torch Relay Map.

And here are the inspirational stories of today’s torchbearers -

- Adam Brooks, 12, from Chorley, plays for Wigan Harriers and has a passion for sports. He has raised money for charity by cycling from the Peak District to Eccleston, and from Windermere to Eccleston in aid of Cancer Research.

- Andrew Odonnell, 48, from Rochdale, served as a police officer for 20 years. In 2004, he was diagnosed with an aggressive form of testicular cancer but has managed to raise more than £23,000 for Cancer Research. Nominating him, a friend said: “To me he symbolises all that is good and great in an Olympian; his humility, kindness and yet great determination to compete and give his all for the benifit of others.”

- Francesca Wheatley, 17, from Whalley, was diagnosed with stage four Hodgkin’s Lymphoma when she was 14. While still receiving treatment she started a fund-raising campaign for Macmillan and Clic Sargent, she has given a talk to her school on the work of the charity, and has inspired others to help her raise money.

- Guy Lovgreen, 34, from Bolton, is a PE teacher and single dad. He develops sports programmes for children across the region and organises sports activities within his own school, working hard to make sure everyone is involved.

- Helen Clarke, 49, from Horwich, is a teacher at a special school and helps run her local Beaver Scout group. She was nominated for her work in ‘bringing the world to’ severely disabled children and for devoting her spare time to plan, shop for and take the Beavers on different events.

- Ian Dawson, 38, from York, works for Adidas and is a sports fan.

- John Acquaviva, 18, from Leyland, teaches youngsters freestyle football and inspires others by telling how he has risen from poverty in Latin America to becoming a freestyle champion.

- Melanie Angold, 37, from Manchester, was diagnosed with life-threatening breast cancer in May 2006. After undergoing surgery, she delayed her chemotherapy so she could undertake IVF, so that in the event of surviving cancer she would have a chance at being a mother. She has now been given the five-year all clear. She has raised nearly £40,000 for a cancer hospital and will run the Berlin marathon this year.

- Peter Boakes, 69, from Sittingbourne, underwent successful treatment for cancer in 2002. From 2003 to 2009, he raised £40,000 for cancer charities, £5,500 was raised for Help for Heroes in 2010, and this year he raised £7,000 for the Motor Neurone Society.

- Sam Crawford, 15, from Stockport, set up a charity event with his family two years ago to support Barnardo’s. The event encourages people to recycle their old toys and games rather than throwing them away, raising more than £29,000.

- Sam Pitts, 12, from Bolton, was nominated for his ability in sports including gym, football, climbing, judo and dance and his drive, determination, and ability to encourage others.

- Steph Stutchbury, 26, from Lancaster, is a respite carer to twins who suffer from Quadriplegia, a form of Cerebral Palsy affecting their limbs.

Both boys are in wheelchairs and cannot use the toilet, and she turns them every two hours during the night, as well as dedicating a full weekend every month to their care and giving up holidays.

Nominating her, colleagues said: “We believe that she is a fantastic bearer of the Olympic fire. By carrying it through our streets and neighbourhoods her story can show how every one of us can shine in their personal life by igniting the light of humankind through ones daily acts of kindness.”

- Tom Glynn, 27, from St Helens, works with young people and families in St Helens, running an award-winning Break Dancing community group.