COUNTY NEWS: Torchbearer left '˜physically sick' after thieves steal Olympic torch
A London 2012 Olympic torchbearer has been left feeling '˜physically sick' after thieves broke into his house and stole his prized possession.
Guy Watts, of Nuthurst Street, Horsham, was chosen to run a leg of the Olympic Torch Relay ahead of the 2012 London games in recognition of his charity work.
However, on Tuesday (January 23), the managing director of Architectural Plants, in Pulborough, discovered thieves had broken into his house and stolen a number of items belonging to him, including the prized torch he ran with on the day.
He said: “When I discovered the break-in I realised they had stolen alcohol, computer consoles and my Olympic torch which is very precious to me.
“I probably have about three or four items that mean a lot to me and that is one of them.
“There is no monetary or physical value in it for anyone else but, for me, it is something I cannot replace. “For the first 24 hours after the break in, I found it hard to talk about it before I decided to try to get it back.
“I just hope that someone will see this and do the right thing and return it.”
Guy was selected to run a leg of the 2012 Olympic torch relay, in Sutton, after raising more than £5,000 for male cancer charity Orchid with a record-breaking unassisted row across the Indian Ocean with his friend Andrew Delaney in 2009.
It took the pair 102 days, 13 hours and 40 minutes making them the first and fastest pair to complete the journey.
A few years later, Guy set up the charity Streetscape to help the long-term unemployed gain the skills, experience and attributes required for a lifetime of work.
He added: “It was an amazing day and one I will remember for the rest of my life. “It is hard to explain what it was like getting off the lorry with thousands of people there to catch a glimpse of the torch.
“The whole event was a celebration for my row and charity work and what you can achieve.
“What I did was nothing to do with making money but about doing the right thing and that’s what the torch relay was a celebration of.”
Guy had hoped to pass the torch on to his eight-month old daughter to help inspire her when she grows up.
He said: “The whole London Olympics was just an incredible time.
“The games and my charity work were going to be used to show my daughter what can be achieved when you work hard enough for it.
“It is so sad that it has now got to a point where people are stealing stuff like that.
“If the person who stole it has any remorse and sees this please can you return it to Architectural Plants, Pulborough, West Sussex, RH20 1DJ.”
A spokesman for Sussex Police said: “Police are investigating a burglary at a property in Nuthurst Street, Horsham, where a 2012 Olympic relay torch was stolen sometime between midnight on 21 January and midnight on 23 January.
“A PlayStation console, Nintendo console and a bottle of whisky were also stolen.
“Any witnesses or anyone with information is asked to contact police online www.sussex.police.uk/contact-us/response-to-appeal/ or ring 101 quoting serial 875 of 24/01.”