'Sporting hero' cameraman's torch run

Paul Hutchins Hutchins says he was mobbed when he jumped off the coach to carry the torch

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A BBC Birmingham cameraman credited with saving his local football club has compared running with the Olympic torch to a wedding day.

Paul Hutchins says he's been overwhelmed with the support shown as he ran round the Worcestershire village Astwood Bank on 1 July.

'It was a bit like getting married again - the amount of photos that were taken' he said.

Hutchins, who films for programmes including Inside Out, was put forward to become a torch bearer by friends who were impressed by his work turning round a local football club.

Paul Hutchins Hutchins raised almost half a million pounds for his local football grounds

The cameramen was behind raising almost half a million pounds for Meadow Park football club in Bromsgrove after the grounds they were using were going to be taken away from them. The factory next door, Harris Brushworks, had decided they could no longer allow the football club to use their fields after a risk assessment.

As chairman of the football club, Hutchins spear headed work over five years to separate out the site from the factory. The money allowed them to build a separate entrance, car park and football posts to make the grounds fit for use.

His nominators Sarah and Ben Stanhope said: 'Paul's dogged determination and tireless fundraising has secured the future of grassroots football in Bromsgrove for the next 30 years.'

In their nomination form the Stanhopes went on to describe Hutchins' dedication: 'From first light Paul's day begins by marking out the Harris Brushworks pitches that he has fought so hard to save and, after work, ends with an evening training his teams.'

The cameraman has already come across what carrying the torch would involve in the course of his job. In June he filmed other torch bearers as the torch travelled through Worcester.

Acting up

While Hutchins was nominated by people outside the BBC, a committee within the corporation had also selected two people to represent the BBC.

VJ Alec Collyer has already run in his own village Shaldon in the South West of England. He had been selected by the BBC in recognition to his 35 years as part of the Dartmoor search and rescue team.

Alec Collyer lighting his torch The BBC nominated Alec Collyer in recognition of his work with Dartmoor search and rescue

Stuart Hughes, the BBC diplomatic producer who lost a leg after stepping on a landmine in Iraq, who has since become a campaigner and fundraiser for landmine victims, will have his turn with the torch on its way to London for the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games on 27 July.

Other BBC staff who have carried the torch include BBC Salford tour guide Lindsey Chapman. She was nominated by her housemates because of her work in community theatre including working in detention centres.

She told Ariel: 'When I'm acting I can be anything I want to be. I want to take that feeling out to the wider community'.

Chapman ran through her home town of Beverley in West Yorkshire on 18 June which she called an 'incredible experience'.

'I grew up in Beverley and never in my life have I seen so many people and felt such an electric atmosphere.'

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