The flame burns bright

The Paralympic flame carried by Farrel Anthony and supported by John Birkhill are driven around the park during the Sheffield Jubilee Fayre
The Paralympic flame carried by Farrel Anthony and supported by John Birkhill are driven around the park during the Sheffield Jubilee Fayre
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THOUSANDS of people watched the Paralympic flame as it was paraded around Norfolk Park at the Sheffield Fayre.

Paralympian Farrel Anthony held the flame aloft as he was driven around the popular show in a World War Two jeep.

Billy Ramsden, four, from Gleadless Valley covers his ears by a Napolean Canon at the Sheffield Jubilee Fayre in Norfolk Park

Billy Ramsden, four, from Gleadless Valley covers his ears by a Napolean Canon at the Sheffield Jubilee Fayre in Norfolk Park

Born with cerebral palsy, the 50-year-old from Batemoor began playing table tennis for Great Britain in 1997.

He represented his country at the Paralympic Games in Sydney in 2000 and Athens in 2004.

He narrowly missed out on qualifying for 2012, but will instead be providing in-ear commentary for visually impaired people in the table tennis arena.

Farrel told The Star: “It has been so good being here today, very exhilarating.

“I’m so happy to be here representing the Paralympic movement.”

He was joined in the vehicle by well-known Sheffield charity fundraiser John Burkhill, who had carried the Olympic Torch through the city in June.

John, aged 73, from Richmond, who has raised more than £150,000 for Macmillan Cancer Support over the years, said: “I wanted to drive the jeep but they wouldn’t let me!

“It’s wonderful how many people are here.

“How do we thank them enough?”

More than 20,000 people are expected to attend the two-day Fayre, which continues today.

The show, in its 11th year, is one of the biggest free events in the North of England, drawing people from across the region with a schedule of historical re-enactments, a funfair, a horticultural competition and scores of stalls and attractions.

This year, to celebrate the Paralympics, visitors were able to take part in disability sport sessions including goalball and boccia.

Philip Midgley, aged 45, from Gleadless, attended yesterday with partner Diane, 40, daughter Amelia, two, son Braden, 17 months, and granddaughter Laicey, also 17 months.

He said: “We were there to see the Olympic flame go through Sheffield and we wanted to be here for the Paralympic flame too.

“We’re really excited about the Paralympics. Some of the events – like the wheelchair rugby – are more exciting than the Olympic events.

“It’s been a fantastic day and we’re really pleased to be here.”

Sam Pugh, 34, from Highfield, watching his five-year-old daughter Laura zoom down a giant slide, said: “We come to this every year.

“It’s a great event – there’s a bit of everything here.

“We love it all – everything from the re-enactments to looking at the vegetables.

“And it’s really good that it’s free.”