James makes it a family Olympic torch hat-trick

Proud: James Needham with the London 2012 Olympic torch
Proud: James Needham with the London 2012 Olympic torch

DONCASTER’S James Needham will complete a rare family hat-trick this summer after being officially chosen to carry the Olympic torch.

James, aged 28, was nominated to be a part of the torch relay by his aunt Margaret, through Lloyds TSB’s nationwide search, having overcome a car accident eight years ago that left him confined to a wheelchair.

James has gone on to participate in biking, canoeing and wheelchair rugby with the aid of the Back Up Trust and also passes on his experience and advice to newly injured people.

And, with his uncle Norman carrying the Olympic Torch at the Alberta Winter Olympics in 1988 and his cousin Dan following suit at the Vancouver Games in 2010, James is set to join an elite family group.

“My uncle carried the Winter Olympic flame and my cousin carried it but it wasn’t something I dreamed of ever being involved in,” said James – whose torch relay leg will take place in Doncaster on June 26.

“It is definitely something to tell the grandchildren and I couldn’t believe it when I found out, I didn’t think anything would come from it after I was nominated and I was really surprised.

“Unfortunately my uncle died three or four years ago but I hope my cousin and aunt will come over from Canada to see me carry the Torch – I would love them to.

“I have done a lot of stuff with the wheelchair and spinal injuries charity, Back Up Trust, and as I have been in a similar position to others I believe I can help.”

James will be among one of 8,000 people to carry the London torch.

As the only national presenting partner of the London 2012 Olympic torch relay, Lloyds TSB is bringing the excitement of the games closer to you. Find out what we’re doing in your community and who is carrying the Flame at lloydstsb.com/carrytheflame.