A FATHER-of-two from Thornbury, who has dedicated 30 years to the town’s football club, is all fired up to carry the Olympic flame through Bristol next month.
Malcolm Carr, 59, is one of 8,000 outstanding individuals handpicked to be torchbearers for the London 2012 relay, and still cannot quite believe he will get to participate in the most watched sporting event in the world on May 22.
The former amateur football player and current Thornbury FC first team physiotherapist was nominated unbeknown to him by his daughter Joanna, 28, in great secrecy.
Mr Carr told the Gazette: "I didn’t know anything about it until they sent me a confirmation email saying they would consider my application. When I got the call to tell me that I had been chosen to be a torchbearer I was absolutely stunned. It’s a once–in-a-lifetime opportunity."
The relay mile will be a walk in the park for the athlete who is more comfortable running around town, pounding the roads of Thornbury, or kicking a ball than sitting still at home.
"I’ve run the London Marathon twice and I’m a member of Thornbury Running Club.
"I try to keep fit. I started playing football when I was a kid, about 14, and never stopped. And I volunteer at the football club now. I did try to make my daughters play but they didn’t show a lot of interest."
He may be very skilful with a ball at his feet but he is praying his less dexterous hands won’t let him down on the day. Many a nightmare scenario has crossed his mind and holding on to the torch for dear life is not out of the question at this point - better safe than sorry.
"I’m getting a bit nervous about it," he added. "Am I going to drop the flame or is the flame going to go out on my watch? I don’t know what to expect on the day. I can only imagine."
Along with 14 other Lloyds TSB milers, he received tips from four-time Olympian Sir Chris Hoy himself on Friday, April 20. And with advice from the master nothing embarrassing or unexpected should happen on the day.
"Meeting him was great. He sounded so interested in what we had to say, he listened to us and asked questions. But it really has brought it home that it’s only four weeks away.
"Hopefully it will raise the profile of the football club. With grass roots level it is so difficult to get volunteers to help out."