Wembley Olympic torchbearer slams plans to charge runners £200 to keep their torch

08:00 31 March 2012

Keith Gussy-Young training will represent Brent in the London 2012 Olympic torch relay

Keith Gussy-Young training will represent Brent in the London 2012 Olympic torch relay

isabelle Plasschaert

Nominee who has volunteered in Brent for more than 25 years thinks council should foot the bill

An Olympic torchbearer from Wembley has slammed plans to charge runners £200 to keep their own torch.

Keith Gussy-Young was nominated to run the high-profile relay after dedicating 25 years to running sports clubs for young people in Brent.

But the 51-year-old, who is a qualified coach, is furious that he has been asked to pay £200 to keep the torch.

He said: “I don’t think I should pay for it. Not a lot of people are happy about it. Why should we have to find £200? I’ve given up the past 26 years to volunteering and spent a lot of my own money on people in the borough. I’m sure the other torchbearers feel the same.”

Mr Gussy-Young believes Brent Council should pick up the bill. He said: “We are representing Brent so I think Brent Council should pay for the torches. I don’t think it is fair to ask us. I have been helping kids in Brent for 25 years and this is how we are repaid. They are just trying to make money out of us.”

Mr Gussy-Young, who grew up in the borough, has worked with Brent Youth Service for 17 years, ran St Andrew’s Youth Club in Willesden and Gladstone Centre Youth Club in Cricklewood as well as Brent School Football Association.

He also works with community radio station Roots FM and coaches girls and boys football at Wembley Primary School, in East Lane, Wembley.

Mr Gussy-Young also scouts youths for trials with Queen’s Park Ranger Football Club.

But a Brent Council spokesman said: “The council will not be purchasing the commemorative torches as this is not the best use of funds at a time when we have to make big savings and also, we aren’t aware of how many residents are taking part so it is unclear how much this would cost.”


If all 8,000 participants bought their torch, it would raise £1.6million. But the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) has defended the costs saying the torch costs £495 to make.

The Olympic flame arrives in the UK on May 18 and begins its 70-day journey at Land’s End the following day.

The flame will be in Brent for two hours and will arrive mid-morning on July 25 via Harrow Road, in Sudbury.

Latest News Stories

Yesterday, 18:08
The man was shot in Queen's Park this morning (Pic credit: Jonathan Goldberg)

An investigation into the shooting of a man by police officers in Queen’s Park this morning has been launched by an independent watchdog.

Yesterday, 16:08
Police at the scene on Chapter Road (pic credit: Twitter@eve_hartley)

A 25-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder following a stabbing in Dollis Hill this morning.

Yesterday, 15:52
Jefferson Joseph has been jailed for four years

A career burglar from Harlesden who targeted homes in Brent and Westminster to feed his drug habit has been jailed for four years.

Yesterday, 14:38
Mark Patten has been jailed for life

A man who murdered a music teacher who once taught at the City of Westminster College in Paddington has been jailed for life today.

Yesterday, 12:03
The father and son sold fake phone accessories on eBay (Pic credit: Brent Council)

A father and son from Wembley who sold fake One Direction memorabilia to pop fans over the internet have been given suspended jail sentence.

Yesterday, 11:01
Cllr Philippa Roe has been challenged by Labour councillors

Labour councillors in Westminster have called upon the Conservative-led local authority to mount a legal challenge against the government’s plans to sell off the borough council homes.

Yesterday, 06:45
Cllr Muhammed Butt is the leader of Brent Council

The government’s surprise announcement that local authorities can keep business rates could ‘crucify’ vital services and lead to council tax rises in Brent, it has been claimed.

Wed, 14:05
Drivers are being warned of traffic delays Picture: BrianAJackson

Drivers are being warned of traffic delays in Wembley and Neasden due to work being carried out on the North Circular Road from Monday.

Most read news


You'll be stocked up on toiletries  for a while!

Cosmetics, toiletries, vitamins and more.

You could be splashing the cash at Topshop!

Just imagine what you could do with £1,000 to spend at Topshop.

Digital Edition

Read the Brent & Kilburn Times e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24

Local business directory

Our trusted business finder