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James Dixon to carry Olympic Flame - despite health scare

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James Dixon James Dixon

England Deaf and Bootle pace bowler, James Dixon, has been nominated by UCLan (University of Central Lancashire) to participate in the relay of the Flame for the London Olympics 2012.

The nomination was a reward for his achievements in cricket as a player with the university team, being a member of the England's Deaf XI and work as a cricket coach in his local community.

James will be in Blackpool on Friday 22nd June and the transfer of the flame to him will take place at 6:01pm. He will carry it south along Devonshire Road (B5124) from its junction with The Knowle (by the entrance to Blackpool North Shore Golf Club) to the junction with Knowle Avenue.

Bobby Denning (England Deaf squad coach) commented: "This is a fantastic once in a lifetime opportunity for James. He has proved to be a role model for the Deaf community and a major player for the England Deaf squad. He deserves this honour."

James will hopefully be fit to play for the England Deaf team on 1 July against Duke of Norfolk XI at Arundel Castle, but thought he would have missed this as well as the Torch Relay due to a recent health scare.

Dixon fit to carry Olympic Torch despite health scare

By: Paul Edwards

Firwood Bootle and England Deaf cricketer James Dixon will be fit to carry the Olympic Torch on Friday evening  - despite collapsing with chest pains just a week before the flame will be handed to him in Blackpool.

The former Southport and Birkdale all-rounder had been doing a long stint with the water-hog in an attempt to get Wadham Road fit for his side's t20 game against Rainhill when the severe discomfort began.

"The pains passed down my chest and into my arms and I also felt dizzy," he said. "I immediately thought I was having a heart-attack. An ambulance was called and I was taken to Aintree Hospital where the doctors did tests and confirmed that my pain was not cardiac-related but was caused by a strain to the muscles in my chest wall and right shoulder. What a relief!"

"Whilst I have been advised that I won't be fit to play cricket for at least two weeks, the doctors have said that I will be OK to carry the torch on Friday. This is also a great relief. Thereafter I will be receiving treatment from the England Deaf Physio and I hope to be fit to play for England against the Duke of Norfolk's XI at Arundel on July 1st and to play for Bootle the following weekend against Northern."

For the moment, though, Dixon's attention is focused on recuperation and, of course, on carrying the torch on Friday, an honour which he never sought but is delighted to have been given.

"I was nominated to carry the torch by Rich Barnes, the Sports 4 You manager at the University of Central Lancashire," he said. "I understand I was nominated because of my achievements as a player and administrator for UCLAN and also as a member of the England Deaf Cricket Élite Squad for my work as a cricket coach in the community, particularly among deaf children.

"I was surprised after I found out I had been selected as I was not aware that I had been nominated. However, I am extremely pleased and proud to have been selected and I am very much looking forward to carrying the torch this Friday. My official unform arrived last week, which only increased the excitement."

The Lancashire Cricket Board wishes to extend its congratulations to James and sends its best wishes to him for his once-in-a-lifetime experience on Friday.

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