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Bid to elect ‘Supertramp’ as bearer of Olympic torch

September 16 2011
The torch would get there on time! The torch would get there on time!


More than 17,000 people have joined a Facebook group to nominate a Bournemouth eccentric to carry the London 2012 Olympic Torch.

Gordon Roberts, 82, is affectionately known to locals as ‘Gordon the Supertramp’ because of his amazing timekeeping ability - despite not wearing a watch. He is being proposed as a torchbearer on the basis of his being an inspirational member of the community.

Mr Roberts, who is not homeless, has become something of a local celebrity in his Dorset hometown, where he has spent more than 20 years wandering the streets sporting a trademark white beard, football scarf and Parka jacket - and always knowing the exact time.

But despite his mass backing, Mr Roberts says he has still not made up his mind if he will accept, commenting: “I’ll still have to think it over. It won’t change my life and if it’s heavy I might drop it.”

Jade Reynolds, 21, who started the Facebook campaign with her cousin, said: “Gordon is the nicest, most genuine man you could meet, so when we saw an advert for local heroes to carry the Olympic torch, he was the first person who came to mind.”

The Olympic torch relay will take place next year from 19 May to 27 July, with 8,000 torchbearers carrying the flame for 300 metres each across the length and breadth of Britain. Gordon added: “I like sport and it would be very good fun - but what if it rains?”

His supporters will now nominate Mr Roberts to the London Organising Committee for the Olympic Games (LOCOG) as a worthy candidate for the job.