OLYMPIC TORCH: Local torchbearer called up at last minute

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The Olympic Torch is coming to Eastbourne this afternoon but one local man will be ditching his plans to instead head to St Leonards to carry the torch.

John Wilton received a shock call on Friday asking him if he was free today (Tuesday) because someone had dropped out. And, the popular Rotarian was only too delighted to step up from the subs bench.

“I was going to be at The Langham Hotel having lunch there and watching the torch like everyone else. Now I will be having a quick sandwich and carrying the torch. I can’t wait.”

Mr Wilton started fundraising back in 1986 when he organised a Run for Africa in Eastbourne which saw 25,000 people take part and raised tens of thousands for charity.

He also ran 10 marathons in 10 days with Jimmy Saville to raise money for the Stoke Mandeville Hospital and more recently, he ran through the Channel Tunnel, netting £14,000 for good causes.

He has also helped provide thousands of artificial legs to people in southern India – helping hand out more than 1,000 limbs on his last trip alone.

Mr Wilton will be in St Leonards for his leg at 6.05pm tonight just before Harley Shute Hill.

Anyone who wants to wish Mr Wilton good luck can do so by leaving comments below.