Olympic torch campaign hots up

A crusade to bring the Olympic torch to Wrexham is hotting up.

Kevin Critchley, the manager of the town’s Eagles Meadow shopping centre, has pledged his support to Wrexham AM Lesley Griffiths who started the campaign.

The Olympic torch relay route is due to by-pass Wrexham when it is carried through Wales – it’s only scheduled to go through Cardiff, Swansea, Aberystwyth and Bangor.

Lesley Griffiths has written to Olympic supremo Lord Sebastian Coe saying it would be a “great shame” if the town were not included in next May’s route.

Mr Critchley is backing the campaign to the hilt and he’s urging other businesses in the town to add their voices to the growing clamour.

He said: “Wrexham is the capital of North Wales and we feel that it is only right and proper that we have a share of the Olympic action.

“Back in 2008, when it was announced that the London 2012 bid had been successful, the Olympic flag was raised in celebration here.

“Not only that, we have a fine Olympic tradition and two gold medal heroes to boot.

“Ken Matthews won gold in 1964 in the 20K race walk in Tokyo and then Tom James followed suit as a member of the victorious men’s four at the 2008 Beijing Games.”

Lesley Griffiths, who is also the Welsh Government Health Minister, was delighted to receive the backing of the shopping centre for her campaign which was also attracting a huge amount of support from townspeople.

She revealed: “It’s been one of my biggest post bags from constituents who really want the Olympic torch to come to Wrexham – the campaign is gathering  momentum all the time

“It would be would be a real shot in the arm for the whole town which has a fantastic sporting heritage.

“Everybody knows Wrexham for its Racecourse stadium which is now also home to the Crusaders rugby league team.

“The stadium can also boast a world first as the ground where the first film of an international football match was shot at a game between Wales and Ireland in 1906.

“And let’s not forget that we are the cradle of Welsh football because Wrexham was the birthplace of the Welsh FA.

“We’ve also got a world class hockey pitch here so we have all the sporting credentials that you could possibly need.

“The route that’s been announced is a provisional one.  They’ve decided that the torch will have overnight stops in Bangor and Chester so it makes perfect sense for it to come via Wrexham.

 “It’s great that Eagles Meadow has come on board to join the campaign. Wrexham’s going for gold!”

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