I WISH to publicly congratulate former Bolton Paralympian Tony griffin, on the award of his Honorary Doctorate from The University of Bolton on Friday.

Tony received his Doctorate for his sporting achievements and for his community involvement in Bolton.

He achieved a total of 38 International medals of which 17 were Gold and he set two world records, one of which he still holds since 1984.

Tony overcame his disability of cerebral palsy and became known as the ‘Golden Griffin’ during his sporting career, and is one of the highest decorated achieving Paralympians in the UK.

In 2012 at the London Paralympic Games, he had the privilege to take part in an aerial display during the opening ceremony. He trained for 10 weeks and carried a golden javelin high above the Olympic stadium. He also lit the main Paralympic flame with the English torch at Stoke Mandeville a few days earlier. Tony has continued to promote sport especially with disabled young people and is a patron for the Bolton Society for Blind People and a Fairtrade ambassador for Bolton.

Tony’s community involvement with young people and charities is done without any fee. He is certainly not a millionaire or anywhere near it; indeed he made no money from sport. He lives in an ordinary house in Great Lever with his family, has an ordinary job in Bolton and is a trade union member. Indeed Tony is as a humble and down to earth as it gets and because of this, he is a valued son of Bolton.

Whilst I served as Town Mayor of Horwich last year, Tony was keen to attend any sporting event or function involving young people with me so that he could promote sport to them. He switched on the Horwich Christmas lights without a fee. Tony has supported previous Mayors of Bolton in their fundraising endeavours regularly taking part in the Mayors mile event. Tony was also at the opening of Bolton One to meet the Princess Royal in the Gym to showcase the equipment and venue in order to promote the town and to support the University and Bolton Council in this joint venture.

I will therefore be proud to call you Dr Tony from now on mate; thank you for all that you have done and continue to do for the Borough of Bolton. Thank you also to the awarding committee of the University of Bolton for recognising Tony’s contribution to this town and the great achievements made throughout his life.

Cllr. Richard Silvester,

Horwich North East Ward

Bolton Council.