With tears in his eyes and a smile on his face, an emotional Anthony Stewart – one of Chichester’s torchbearing heroes – described the incredible moment he carried the Olympic flame towards the city.
Anthony, a special needs teacher and member of The Parents and Carers Support Organisation (PACSO), held his torch aloft when it was lit at about midday on July 16.
Talking to the Observer after his part in the torch relay, Anthony said: “I didn’t really know what I was doing. I just looked at the torch and when the flame was on it I just had to lift it up. It was something I felt I had to do.
“I did it to lift people’s spirits. I think so many people are held down in life and this was something I did to lift them up.”
There were huge cheers from the crowds as Anthony ran alongside Oaklands Park.
Ant – a former full-time primary teacher – works part-time for Kingsham and Portfield primary schools, reading stories and covering subjects such as science, maths and PE. He works at PACSO with his wife Ruth. He is a member of Revelation Church, working part-time in its office.
He and Ruth are foster parents, providing respite care for children with special needs as well as being on call to provide emergency foster cover. He also helps the Chichester-based international development charity Children on the Edge. Ant hailed the thousands who turned out to see the torch relay, despite the horrible weather.