A LOCAL sporting hero is a step closer to carrying the Olympic flame on its way to London after making it through to the next stage of the nomination process.
Pensioner John Newsome was nominated for the honour by Wakefield MP Mary Creagh last month.
Mr Newsome, 69, 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.
He said: “I’m delighted. It’s a lovely surprise. The nearest I ever came to the Olympics was coming ninth in the 1968 trials, so it would be fantastic to carry the flame.”
Mr Newsome will find out in December if he has been successful in being chosen as one of the 8,000 torchbearers needed for the Olympic Torch Relay.
Mary Creagh MP said: “It is great news that John has passed the first hurdle on his race to carry the Olympic flame through Wakefield. I was thrilled to nominate him and I know that staff and students at Netherton School and Wakefield Harriers where he volunteers will have everything crossed to see that he makes it over the finish line.”
Pensioner Les D’Arcy, 90, from Wakeﬁeld, who was also nominated by Ms Creagh, is still waiting to hear whether he has made the next stage.
He has world, British and European titles under his belt in everything from table tennis to weight lifting and athletics.