South Yorkshire MacShane backs Olympian’s family

EMBARGOED TO 0001 WEDNESDAY DECEMBER 31. 'File photo dated 19/8/2008 of Great Britain's Paul Goodison with the Gold Medal he won in the men's Laser class at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games Sailing Centre off Qingdao, China. Goodison has  received a MBE in the 2009 New Year Honours List. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Wednesday December 31, 2008. See PA HONOURS stories. Photo credit should read: David Jones/PA Wire'Use subject to restrictions. Editorial use only. No commercial use. Call +44 (0)1158 447447 for further information.
EMBARGOED TO 0001 WEDNESDAY DECEMBER 31. 'File photo dated 19/8/2008 of Great Britain's Paul Goodison with the Gold Medal he won in the men's Laser class at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games Sailing Centre off Qingdao, China. Goodison has received a MBE in the 2009 New Year Honours List. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Wednesday December 31, 2008. See PA HONOURS stories. Photo credit should read: David Jones/PA Wire'Use subject to restrictions. Editorial use only. No commercial use. Call +44 (0)1158 447447 for further information.
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THE family of Olympic sailing contender Paul Goodison have received support from Rotherham’s MP Denis MacShane - after they were told only four of the gold medal hopeful’s relatives would be able to cheer him on when he competes.

Paul, who lives in Rotherham and trains at Ulley Sailing Club, is bidding to repeat his gold medal win at the Beijing Olympics in 2008 and his family bought nine tickets several months ago to watch him in action.

But the Sheffield-born sailor’s family have been told only four relatives can attend to show their support.

Mr MacShane has now appealed to the Olympics Minister, Jeremy Hunt, and the head of the organising committee Lord Coe to allow the entire group of nine to watch Paul sail at Weymouth.

“Jeremy Hunt and Lord Coe must step in and stop this injustice,” said the MP.

“Thousands of tickets have gone to corporate VIPs, freeloaders, friends of the government and foreign dignitaries and it is quite wrong that the Rotherham family who helped Paul in his hard years of sacrifice to become an Olympic star should be denied the chance to go and cheer him on,” he added.