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Olympic torch shines light on young rugby hero

By RFU Press Office
December 9 2011

Well done to George.... enjoy your day and time carrying the Olympic Torch.  From all of us at Unofficial England Rugby.   George will be one of 8,000 people who will carrying the torch over its 70-day circuit starting on May 19, 2012.

Olympic torch shines light on young rugby hero
George Stocker with his Olympic Torch replica
George Stocker with his Olympic Torch replica

A young Yorkshire rugby union player from Wetherby who has successfully battled through 80 weeks of treatment for a brain tumor, worked his way back into the team he played with when illness struck and raised £50,000 for the charity that supported him during his illness, is one of the first people in the country to be selected to carry the Olympic Torch on its journey round the United Kingdom.

George Stocker was diagnosed with a brain tumour in April 2008 and needed over 18 months in a wheelchair dealing with the symptoms and side-effects.

Driving the youngster throughout the process was a determination to regain the hooking berth he held when illness struck and to raise £50,000 for the Leeds-based children’s cancer charity Candlelighters and in doing so to support other children with the same condition.

Almost four years down the road, the 12-year-old pupil at Queen Ethelburga’s College in York, has just realised his two ambitions. After a prolonged rehabilitation, which involved building up his match time at the rate of an extra five minutes per game moving through the age groups when he resumed playing in September 2009, he recently reclaimed the No 2 shirt among the teammates who he started out with at Wetherby RFC.

Many might have found the challenge of raising £50,000 for Candlelighters a bridge too far, but George is clearly made of sterner stuff and easily mobilised support from a willing family and a huge number of admirers impressed by his courage and resolve.

Fund-raising projects came in a variety of shapes and sizes, mostly rugby related, but all drawing support for a very worthy cause from the wider community.

That support and the tremendous total achieved underlined the impact George Stocker has had on the people who have been inspired by his resilience and spirit. There are other manifestations. Hero of the Year from local radio station Stray FM, Yorkshire Child of Bravery and Yorkshire Young Achiever of the Year were all accolades that came in response to nominations from the public and it was a batch of recommendations from 30 different individuals which has brought the Olympic Torch honour.

“In view of his return to action at Wetherby and the reaching of our target for Candlelighters, this is really nice timing,” says his father, Roger. “At this stage we don’t know where George will be carrying the torch. We’ll find out four weeks before the event.”

“To carry a torch is a great honour and I would like to dedicate this to all of the people who have helped me with my fundraising for Candlelighters.” said George: “I would especially like to thank all my friends at Wetherby Rugby Club who have supported me over the past four years.”

George will be one of 8,000 people who will carrying the torch over its 70-day circuit starting on May 19, 2012. 

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Olympic torch shines light on young rugby hero
Unofficial England Rugby Union (IP Logged)
09/12/2011 09:14
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