Local Sheffield heroes are keepers of the flame

torchRB'Former tennis player Sue Wolstenholme, who is taking part in the Paralympic Torch Relay.
torchRB'Former tennis player Sue Wolstenholme, who is taking part in the Paralympic Torch Relay.

MORE torchbearers will be keeping the Olympic flame burning as it passes through Sheffield next month - from a scout leader and a council worker to a young disabled boy.

The torch will arrive in Sheffield on Monday, June 25, beginning at Chapeltown and heading to Ecclesfield before being carried to Hillsborough.

Spectators will then cheer on the torchbearers as the flame travels along Penistone Road and Glossop Road to Ecclesall, finishing up at Barker’s Pool for a free evening of celebrations.

Thousands of people are expected to line the route as the flame is held aloft.

Andrew Watson, aged 46, from Ecclesall, will be carrying the torch as it passes through Hillsborough, and said he was ‘absolutely gobsmacked’ to be chosen.

Andrew is general manager at Abbeydale Sports Centre, as well as leader at the Ecclesall Scouts.

“My colleagues down at the Scouts had put me in for a nomination and I must admit I’m still in a state of shock,” said Andrew.

“It really will be a great honour to be part of the Olympic legacy. It’s a fabulous opportunity for myself and one I’m sure I will never forget.”

Disabled 12-year-old Luke Skipper, from Woodhouse, will be holding the flame as it travels through Chapeltown. The youngster suffers from a condition which means he is unable to communicate effectively.

Ruby Smith, 21, a support planning co-ordinator at Sheffield Council, is also carrying the torch as it nears the city centre.

She set up the Sheffield UNICEF Fundraising Group, and volunteers for the charity as well as holding down her full-time day job.

Ruby was nominated by an old school friend, who said: “Ruby is an inspiration to all of us - she vigorously works every weekend and in the week to organise fundraising activities.”

Sheffield will also be represented at the Paralympic Torch Relay in August by former tennis player Sue Wolstenholme, who is set to light a flame at Stoke Mandeville in Buckinghamshire, where the first sporting contests for disabled people were held.

Sue, 71, helped develop wheelchair tennis, working closely with the All England Club to set up a special tournament at Wimbledon.

“I’m very excited about the torch relay but I think there will be some nerves,” she said.

“It’s a great honour and a privilege to be involved in such a great occasion.”

Sue added: “Tennis has given me a lot of enjoyment in my life so I’m very pleased to be able to put something back in.”