A SPORTING champion from Bolton is to have a starring role in the Paralympic Games opening ceremony.

Tony Griffin, from Great Lever, is the town’s most successful athlete, with more international medals than Jason Kenny and Amir Khan put together.

Now the former Paralympian will take centre stage in front of 80,000 people in an aerial display as part of the opening ceremony tomorrow. But like the Olympics opening ceremony in July, details of the show are top secret and the 53-year-old cannot give anything away.

Mr Griffin, who has cerebral palsy, travelled to London on Monday to attend rehearsals for the big event.

He said: “I’m very excited about being part of the ceremony.

All I can tell you is that I’m going to be part of an aerial display in front of a full stadium.

“More than anything, the ceremony will be a great way to give Paralympians like me the recognition they deserve.

“It’s changed a lot since I competed in the 1984 Paralympics but it’s all down to the media coverage to give it a higher profile.

“Paralympians should be treated like stars, in the same way as Jess Ennis and Jason Kenny.”

Mr Griffin went to his first Paralympics in the south of France aged just 16 and travelled again with the British team to Holland in 1980.

Four years later, at the 1984 Paralympic Games in New York, he won two golds, for javelin and the Indian club — and broke two world records.

He still holds the world record throw of 50 metres in the Indian club — an event similar to the hammer throw.

Mr Griffin will carry the Paralympic Torch in the London leg of the relay in Stoke Mandeville today.

He added: “It will be the ultimate pinnacle of my career and it will be great to go back to my roots as a Paralympian. It’s absolutely brilliant.”

In his 10-year career, the Bolton athlete won a total of 38 medals.

He lives in Great Lever with his wife Carla and their six children Lisa, Andrew, Samantha, Thomas, Reece and Rio.