A call by Horndean’s Olympic hero Sir Matthew Pinsent for a homecoming parade for the Team GB stars of Rio is gathering momentum.
The Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has backed the call by Sir Matthew, who spent his childhood in Horndean where his father Ewan was rector of Holy Trinity Church in Blendworth Lane.
Mr Khan said he was keen to see celebrations in the city when the athletes return from Rio - following suggestions in recent days that no plans were in place.
On Wednesday former rowing champion Sir Matthew said he had ‘heard from two different sources today that there won’t be a @TeamGB parade this year’.
Britain’s Olympians paraded through the capital’s streets to the joy of fans following the Games in Athens in 2004, Beijing in 2008 and London in 2012.
In a message to Mr Khan he added: ‘Dear @MayorofLondon is this true about the @TeamGB parade? Binned apparently.’
Mr Khan told the Daily Mail today that possible plans for a parade were being discussed.
‘I think it would be great to have a big public celebration of our Olympians and Paralympians after the Games, and my team is talking to the Government and sports chiefs to see how we can make this happen,” the Mayor said.
There is broad support for a parade, although some have suggested it could be held outside London.
Former Labour sports minister Richard Caborn, told the Daily Mail: ‘People want the chance to celebrate the fantastic achievements of the team, and they will not understand if there is no opportunity for them to do that.
‘But it should not just be another big event in London for the tourists - why shouldn’t it be in Sheffield, or in Leeds, where people have been supporting the Brownlee brothers for years?’