Paralympian from Harpenden carries flame at opening ceremony

CAPTAIN of Britain’s blind football team, David Clarke, has described holding the Paralympic flame during last night’s spectacular opening ceremony as the “proudest moment” of his life.

David, from Harpenden, took centre stage during the finale of the show, as millions of viewers watched him run across the Olympic Stadium with the torch.

The crowd looked on in amazement when David was handed the flame from aspiring paralympian Joe Townsend, who zip-wired more than 350ft into the arena from the Orbit tower.

When David finally had his hands of the flame he passed it to Britain’s first Paralympic gold medallist Margaret Maughan. She had the honour of lighting the cauldron and officially opening the Games.

The 41-year-old bank manager said: “It was the proudest moment of my life to represent the Paralympic Movement on such a prestigious public stage.

“I am deeply grateful to everyone who has helped me on my Paralympic journey and look forward to helping many others in the future achieving their sporting ambitions.”

The paralympian also shared the stage during last night’s extravaganza with former St Albans schoolboy, Professor Stephen Hawking, who introduced the show by encouraging athletes to “Look up at the stars”.

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David’s Paralympic journey will continue when he leads the Great Britain 5-a-side team in their opening London 2012 match against Spain at the Riverbank Arena tomorrow (August, 31).