Two injured North West soldiers will be celebrating a momentous day in Blackpool this year when they carry the Olympic torch on its historic journey.
Amputees Guardsman Dave Watson (25) from Preston and Sergeant Rick Clement (32) from Blackpool are among more than 7,000 torchbearers named to carry the flame on its 70-day journey throughout the UK. They will carry the torch through Blackpool on Friday 22 June 2012.
For the two soldiers, who were injured within days of one another in Afghanistan almost two years ago, this is going to be an unforgettable occasion.
“I am absolutely amazed that I was picked and so chuffed,” said Sergeant Clement of 1st Battalion The Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment who lost both legs when he trod on a pressure plate while on operations in Afghanistan.
“I just can’t wait for the day to come. It is like the icing on the cake – an amazing privilege.”
Guardsman Dave Watson of the 1st Battalion Scots Guards agreed. Dave who lost both legs and an arm in another explosive blast in Helmand province said: “It means a lot to me. I am not just doing this for me, I am doing it for me, other injured soldiers and the lads who went out to Afghanistan.
"It has been tough and eighteen months ago I didn’t think I would be stood here and going to carry the Olympic torch.”
The torch will arrive at St Michaels on Wyre at 3pm on the 22nd June.
It will then make its way to Fleetwood where it will be carried from Dock Street Asda Roundabout along Queens Terrace, The Esplanade, and Broadway to Rossall School where it will then be taken on board a tram to Cleveleys.
The torch will then be carried along Rossall Road and Victoria Road West to Anchorsholme Lane and onto Blackpool for the evening celebration at the Tower Headland.
The following morning it will set off for Lytham St Annes and Warton.