More of Ealing's Torchbearers Unveiled

Olympic torch relay arrives in Ealing on Tuesday 24th July

Related Links

Sydney Richards and Tom Thacker

Olympic Torch Route Through Ealing

Margaret's Carrying The Torch For Ealing


Sign up for our free newsletter

Comment on this story on the

A football-loving schoolgirl from Hanwell and a Southall sports fan have been selected to carry the Olympic torch through Ealing as it journeys to the opening of the games days later.

Sydney Richards, aged 14, and Tom Thacker were chosen from dozens of nominations received by Ealing Council to carry the Olympic torch for 300 metres on its journey through the borough on Tuesday, 24 July. A cross-party panel of councillors judged the nominations.

Sydney attends Brentside High School in Hanwell and plays football for the school team, the Football Association at Middlesex Centre of Excellence and Middlesex County, as well as representing Ealing at The London Youth Games. She has also played for junior teams at Queen’s Park Rangers, Brentford and Ruislip Rangers. Sydney wants to be a professional footballer and one day play for England.

Sydney said: “I’m very excited and everyone’s really happy for me. I didn’t know my mum had nominated me until I heard I was on the shortlist. I’m really looking forward to it.”

Her mother Deanne Straker said: “It will make me so proud to see Sydney carrying the torch. Our family, friends and school friends will all be out there to cheer her on the day.”

Tom, aged 30, enjoys football, tennis, swimming and power-walking. Tom has learning disabilities and Asperger syndrome and is a cleaner at Mencap’s Enterprise Lodge in Greenford. He also volunteers at Mencap’s Community Café at All Saints Church, Ealing and ensures the views of people with learning disabilities are heard as a representative for independent living on the Ealing Learning Disability Partnership Board.

Tom recently moved into his own flat and was nominated by his father Kit who praised his ‘hard work and determination to immerse himself fully into the community.’
Tom said: “I’m really happy and excited. I do a lot of community work around Ealing and it is nice to get a thank you for it.”

Councillor David Millican, Conservative Group Leader, said "Sydney and Tom are great choices to represent the borough as Torch Bearers. There were many worthy nominees and Tom and Sydney will do us proud." "It is a great honour that Ealing will play host to the Torch as it stays overnight just days before the Olympics open."

The Olympic torch relay will travel from Northala Fields in Northolt towards Southall and along Uxbridge Road through Hanwell, West Ealing and on to Ealing High Street and Ealing Green, before reaching its final destination at Walpole Park. An evening of free family entertainment will be held at the park to celebrate Ealing being one of only six London boroughs chosen to host the Olympic torch in an over-night stopover.

Full details of entertainment provided by Olympic sponsors at the evening event and information on how to get tickets for the roadshow will be announced shortly. Residents can keep updated on news relating to the event by registering on the council’s website and opting to receive information on ‘Olympics 2012 local events’.

Full details of which streets the torchbearers will be travelling along and when well-wishers will be able to cheer them on are available at





29th March 2012

Bookmark and Share