Wakefield sporting heroes hope to carry 2012 Olympic flag

Les Darcey and John Newsome have been nominated to carry the Olympic torch, by MP Mary Creagh, if the torch travels through Wakefield.'Adults L to R) John Newsome, MP Mary Creagh, Les Darcey. Netherton J+I  pupils Niamh Docherty and Millie Daley.'w5628a127
Les Darcey and John Newsome have been nominated to carry the Olympic torch, by MP Mary Creagh, if the torch travels through Wakefield.'Adults L to R) John Newsome, MP Mary Creagh, Les Darcey. Netherton J+I pupils Niamh Docherty and Millie Daley.'w5628a127
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OUR own sporting heroes could end up carrying the Olympic flame on its way to London after being nominated for the honour by the city’s MP.

Pensioners Les D’Arcy and John Newsome were ‘flabbergasted’ to learn Wakefield MP Mary Creagh had given their names to the London 2012 Organising Committee, which was looking for torchbearers for the famous relay.

Mr Newsome, of Upper Lane, Netherton, was one of the world’s best marathon runners in his heyday and was crowned Wakefield Sportsman of the Year in 1968, before winning a lifetime achievement award at the Express sports awards in 2007.

He continues to inspire athletes today in his role as president of the Wakefield District Harriers and Athletic Club.

The 69-year-old said: “It would be an amazing honour to be chosen. The Olympics is the greatest thing in sport and I would love to be part of it.”

Les D’Arcy, 90, from Wakefield, has world, British and European titles under his belt in everything from table tennis to weightlifting and athletics.

He said: “It’s a fantastic honour and it shows people have a bit of confidence in me.”

Nominations closed last Thursday and the shortlist will be revealed in August, but the pair will not find out if they’ve been successful until December.

Meanwhile the city is still poised to find out whether it will be included on the official route.

Speaking about her reasons for nominating them, Ms Creagh said: “I go to a lot of events throughout the city and these two are outstanding role models for our young people.”

“They have both really impressed me with their commitment and I thought, who better to choose?”