Torch bearer to the fore!

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CARNOUSTIE Gala Committee has announced that Andy Coogan has accepted an invitation to lead the Gala Parade through the town on Gala Day, Saturday, July 7.

A Second World War veteran and former prisoner of war at the hands of the Japanese, 95-year-old Andy, who is very well known in the town, was heavily involved in athletics as a runner and coach. In his younger days he looked to have a promising athletics career but it was cut short by the outbreak of the Second World War in 1939 and during the conflict he was a prisoner of the Japanese for three years.

This ruled out his opportunity to compete at the London Olympic Games of 1948 but he remained devoted to sport and founded the Tayside Amateur Athletic Club.

He has also competed in veteran athletics.

He has run at Hampden Park and Ibrox Stadium in front of 90,000 people and many youngsters in the area will fondly remember being coached by Andy. He recently carried the Olympic torch through Dundee.

The chair of the Carnoustie Gala Committee, Mrs Mary Bushnell, has stated that as the official torch route did not include Carnoustie, this is a great opportunity for townspeople to welcome Andy with his torch as the parade goes through the town.

The parade departs from Panmure Industrial Estate at 1 p.m. following the route - Victoria Street, Barry Road, Dundee Street, High Street, Church Street, Carlogie Road, Newton Road and Queen Street, arriving at Carnoustie House Grounds at about 1.45 p.m.