Coventry & Warwickshire

James Roe: Stratford bus tour for Paralympic rower

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Media captionParalympic gold medal-winning rower James Roe described an open top bus parade through Stratford-upon-Avon as "completely overwhelming"

Hundreds of people have attended an open-top bus parade in Stratford-upon-Avon to celebrate the Paralympic gold medal won by rower James Roe.

The 24-year-old, who was born in Leamington Spa and now lives in Stratford-upon-Avon, was part of Team GB's winning mixed coxed four crew.

The tour started at 12:30 BST and arrived at the town hall for a civic reception at about 13:00.

A pair of post boxes in the town have also been painted gold in his honour.

Roe said: "The last 11 days have been non-stop and I wasn't expecting it, coming back to Stratford - it's overwhelming."

Oar salute

Pupils from his former school, King Edward VI, lined the streets for the parade.

It was while at the Stratford school that Roe first took up rowing and it was during this time that his eyesight began to fail.

Image caption Hundreds of people turned out to cheer the gold medallist

Peter Wyatt, who carried the Olympic torch through Henley Street in the town and tried out for 1948 UK Olympic rowing team and was also on the bus, said Roe was a "star".

"He's got the first gold medal in the town," he added.

After the bus parade reached the town hall, members of the Stratford-upon-Avon Boat Club, formed a line and raised their oars above their heads as he walked underneath into the reception.

He later appeared on the balcony with his teammates and the mayor, councillor Edward Lloyd.

Roe said: "To come back and see everyone, especially pupils from King Edwards is just great. I'm overwhelmed."

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