A WIRRAL torchbearer has embarked on his own mini torch tour in a bid to create his own Olympic legacy.
Jack Blakemore, 69, of Wallasey, carried the famous flame along the streets of Southport as part of the torch relay’s 8,000 mile journey across the UK.
Some torchbearers have since cashed in by offering their torches for sale for thousands of pounds on websites like eBay.
But Mr Blakemore is determined to do some good by taking the torch to school assemblies, summer fetes and other community events.
He has set himself a goal of raising £500 for St John’s Hospice and collected £56 in the first few days of the challenge.
He has also been booked in to show the torch to Beavers at Claremount Methodist Church, where he has been a steward for 12 years.
Mr Blakemore said: “You had to buy your torch if you wanted to keep it. Mine was £215, which is a lot but it is going to be worth its weight in gold.
“I would not want to be associated with those people who sold their torches on eBay – I am not that sort of person.
“You could buy a stand for £39 to display it but I have never been one for memorabilia and all my football and refereeing medals are in the loft.
“I always wanted to do some good with it.
“Everywhere I have been so far people have used mobile phones to have a picture taken with it.”
Mr Blakemore, a retired staff welfare officer at Wirral Council and a football referee of more than 40 years, described his torch experience as “absolutely wonderful”.
He said: “All of us torchbearers piled into a coach beforehand and people were giving each other hugs before it was their turn to go out.
“My bit was along Scarisbrick New Road going into Southport and it was over in a flash.
“Another bus picked us up and it was marvellous waving to all the bystanders.
“I felt like I was a footballer in an open-top bus parade having just won the FA Cup.
“It was a wonderful experience.”