A WORLD record-holding Paralympian from Bolton has been awarded the British Empire Medal.

Tony Griffin received the BEM from the Lord Lieutenant of Greater Manchester, Warren J Smith, at a special honours’ ceremony.

Despite suffering from cerebral palsy, Tony set two world records at the 1984 New York Paralympic Games, in javelin and Indian club throwing. He still holds the world record for the Indian clubs.

In the 1970s and ‘80s, Tony won a total of 38 international medals in a career that has made him a role model in disability sports. He visits schools around the country to give talks and presentations about his sporting career, inspiring many to achieve despite their own disabilities.

He is a patron of the Bolton Society for Blind People, promoting their services and assisting their fundraising efforts, and has also helped the Mayor of Bolton’s Charity Fund.

He is a stalwart of the Fairtrade movement and was awarded a Lifetime Achievement award at the Bolton Sports Awards in 2006. He is one of the local sportspeople on the Spirit of Sport monument and in 2012 took part in the opening ceremony of the Paralympic Games in London.

Tony was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Science in 2015 by the University of Bolton for his Sporting and Community achievements, nominated by Horwich’s Cllr Richard Sylvester.

Stated Cllr Sylvester: “Tony is affectionately known as The Golden Griffin because of all the medals he won in his career representing the UK. He is a humble person and a true Boltonian and a real ambassador for our town. I am proud to call him a friend.”

Tony said: “I couldn’t believe it but I thoroughly enjoyed meeting the Lord Lieutenant. I will wear my medal with pride because it is for Bolton, our town and people.”

As an honours’ recipient, Tony is also to attend a Buckingham Palace Garden Party this year.