Bus driver Ray Jones has hailed his five minutes of fame carrying aloft the Olympic Torch as one of the best experiences of his life.
The Yellow Buses’ driver was cheered by thousands of people as he ran with the torch through Bournemouth.
Ray said: “I felt humbled, proud, emotional, nervous and excited. In short, I loved every minute, Without doubt it was one of the best experiences of my life.”
The 52-year-old was nominated by fellow driver Steve Marshall and his partner, Sandi Ballard, a Staff Manager with Yellow Buses.
In their nomination they described Ray, who has raised thousands of pounds for charity after successfully completing several runs, as a ‘good man.’
They added: “Ray isn’t ‘blow your socks’ off amazing. He is an ordinary man who makes a difference to ordinary lives. We think it’s time he had some extraordinary recognition.”
After completing his stretch of the Olympic Torch relay, Ray described the crowd reaction as “awesome.”
He said: “I lifted the torch high and they went mad. People were shouting for a picture and coming up non-stop for a photo. It was just a sea of faces cheering for me but I managed to see my wife and she looked so proud.”
Jenni Wilkinson, Yellow Buses’ Head of Marketing, said the company was “pleased and proud” to have one of its drivers taking part in the torch relay.
“Ray has an absolute heart of gold. We were thrilled that he was chosen for the honour of carrying the Olympic Torch,” Jenni said.
She added: “We were pleased to buy the torch for Ray, as well as other memorablia, to act as a lasting memory of his role in the London 2012 Olympics.”