Spen’s swimming champ carries torch to school

HONOUR: Matthew Johnson with Spen Valley Sports College acting headteacher Diane McConnell and pupils clockwise from top left, Luke Johnson, Sam Wood, Kurt Harris, Kaine Hall and Laura Porritt.
HONOUR: Matthew Johnson with Spen Valley Sports College acting headteacher Diane McConnell and pupils clockwise from top left, Luke Johnson, Sam Wood, Kurt Harris, Kaine Hall and Laura Porritt.
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SPEN swimmer Matthew Johnson was given the honour of carrying the flame through Beeston in Leeds.

Matthew, 17, took his torch to his former school, Spen Valley Sports College.

Acting headteacher Diane McConnell said: “Matthew was proud as punch. He just missed out on qualifying for the London Olympics so he’s hoping to get to Rio in 2016. He was nominated to carry the torch by the British swimming team.

“He has been round primary schools too and he’s been raising money for the Forget Me Not Children’s Hospice and Kirkwood Hospice by asking for a £1 donation for children to have their photo taken with the torch. Quite a bit of money has been raised because all the children wanted to have their photo taken with him! It was a really nice day.

“He said he was really proud and humbled and he was quite emotional about it when he got there – I don’t think he realised how much carrying the torch would affect him.

“He just stood and grinned with all the children having photos taken – he was like a celebrity!”