Games relay honour for patriot Andy

Andy Hall will carry the baton at the Commonwealth Games

Andy Hall will carry the baton at the Commonwealth Games

First published in News

JOHN Lewis worker Andy Hall will represent Swindon when he takes part in the Queen’s Baton Relay ahead of the Commonwealth Games.

Andy, 61, has been hand-picked from thousands of John Lewis Partners and will carry the baton in Dundee on Friday, the 14th day of the relay in Scotland.

The Queen’s Baton Relay will travel the length and breadth of Scotland until July 23, when the games will be held in Glasgow until August 3.

As official department store provider to the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games, nine John Lewis Partners, including Andy, will participate in the relay.

Andy, a selling assistant in the furniture department at John Lewis Swindon, was chosen for going above and beyond the call of duty in store.

He said he was overwhelmed and a little surprised to be selected for the role.

“I was absolutely delighted when I heard I’d been selected to take part in the Queen’s Baton Relay,” he said.

“I got told the news in February or March.

“It was a total surprise because my section manager, Phoenix, didn’t even ask me if I would be happy to do it – he just said yes.

“It’s such an honour. My mother, who passed away last year, loved the Royal family and would have been so proud.

“It’ll be great to go to Scotland for a couple of days too.

“I’ll be staying with friends in Dundee and they’re going to cheer me on as I carry the baton. It’s only 200 metres but I’ve been trying to get in shape.”

The baton will visit all 32 local authority areas of Scotland as it completes the final days of its epic journey around 70 nations and territories of the Commonwealth.

“They really do hype it up,” said Andy, who lives in Rowan Road, Moredon. “They say the atmosphere will be pumping, there will be hundreds of people cheering you on and even some asking for your autograph.

“There will be six people around you as protection with police in front too, so I shouldn’t expect there will be too many issues with safety.

“I’m not a big sports fan, but if there is any international event on I will show some interest because I’m a patriot.”

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