Sports-made teen Louis will carry torch
SPORTS-MAD teenager Louis Wilson, who suffered from a rare illness which meant he could not take part in games for more than a year, will be one of the lucky people to enjoy the once-in-a-lifetime experience of carrying the Olympic torch.
The 13-year-old is now fit and healthy, but when he was nine he was struck with a rare condition that made contact sports too dangerous.
The Bournside School pupil developed Idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP), meaning his blood could not clot properly because of his abnormally-low platelet count.
Dad Keith said the illness meant Louis had to be "wrapped in cotton wool" and it took around two years for his blood count to get back up to normal.
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But he has now recovered, takes part in football, cricket, rugby and athletics and hoping for a career in the sports industry.
Louis is also a black belt in karate and the top scorer this season in his Southside Galaxy under-14 football team.
And now he is one of 8,000 inspirational people across the country chosen to carry the flame.
He said: "I am really excited about it, but quiet nervous. My school is doing a trip so everyone can come and watch me."
Keith added: "He really was sporting mad and just could not do anything.
"But he was so positive throughout it and did not moan, even though he was missing out on things.
"When he was really ill we could not risk him being tripped up or hurt at all, but eventually he started playing football in goal and I would go along to all the training and matches with him just in case."
Keith, from The Park, admitted it had been a difficult time.
"He was a little boy that wanted to play football with his friends and he did miss out on that while he was growing up," he said. "It is fantastic he is going to be carrying the Olympic torch. We are proud of him."
Allan Foulds, headteacher at Bournside, said: "We share Louis' family's pride in him being selected. Louis is a popular young man with a super attitude to life.
"He is a successful sportsman who balances this really well with his academic study. We wish him well for the occasion."
Keith, along with Louis' mum Andrea and younger brother, Cameron, 10, will be going to watch Louis carry the torch in Evesham on July 1.