Olympic Torch surprise for Rainham boy, six

A kind-hearted torchbearer has made a little boy’s dream come true when she visited his house with a real-life Torch - after he suffered Olympic-sized disappointment.

Alex McCarthy, six, was devastated when he didn’t catch a glimpse of the Torch after being swamped by crowds as the relay passed through Rainham on Sunday July 22.

He tried to catch up with the Torch at Rainham Hall – but just missed it.

Then his parents, Lee, 37, and Jenny, 29, took him to the Olympic Park, in Stratford, in the hope of spying one of the iconic gold torches there – but they were unable to get in without tickets.

Lee, from Trafalgar Road, Rainham, finally got in touch with the Recorder about his son’s plight – and we were more than happy to help.

IT manager Lee emailed: “I’m writing to you in the hope that you would have some contacts to help my son realise his dream to hold a torch.”

The Recorder immediately contacted community champion Ingrid Brandon, who carried the Flame through Herongate, Essex, and she kindly agreed to surprise the Whybridge Junior School pupil at home.

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Ingrid, who ran because of her work with the Elm Park Regeneration Group, also agreed to dress up in her official running kit to make the day even more special.

Ingrid said: “I’m very happy to do it; it’s for such a nice cause. The Torch is very special and I hope Alex will be inspired by it.”

Lee added: “We’re so grateful to Ingrid for agreeing to do this. She is making a little boy very happy.

“We had waited for hours outside St Johns Church, in Southend Road, Rainham, but we were unable to see it due to the crowds rushing forward when it came past. The after we missed it again Alex was so upset.

“When he wasn’t able to see anything at the Olympic Park that brought him to tears.

“He had been learning so much about the Torch at school and it had really sparked his imagination - he was just desperate to see it!”

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