Newton goes postal over gold standard

Olympic track cyclist Ed Clancy
Olympic track cyclist Ed Clancy

ROYAL Mail bosses have snubbed a request to honour Newton-le-Willows’ gold medal winning cyclist Ed Clancy.

Clancy, part of Team GB’s team pursuit squad, was born in Yorkshire but has lived in Newton for the past seven years.

His success at London 2012 prompted Newton councillor Seve Gomez-Aspron to ask Royal Mail to paint a post-box gold in Newton in the 27-year-old cyclist’s honour.

He hoped the precedent of Bradley Wiggins, who was born in Belgium, raised in Kilburn, London, but honoured in his adopted town of Chorley, would bolster Newton’s cause.

But Royal Mail told the St Helens Reporter they have now ruled out such a move to focus on paying tribute to athletes competing in the Paralympics Games, which started last week.

“We would only reconsider where there is evidence of a clear error. The number of gold post-boxes are limited and we have no further plans to add to them,” said a Royal Mail spokesman.

As well as training at the velodrome in Manchester, Clancy often joins local cycling clubs for a quick road workout around the borough and is a regular sight on the streets of Newton.

On being told Royal Mail had turned down his request, Coun Gomez-Aspron said: “It’s a shame, but I half expected it, really. I know the local postal staff were keen, but obviously the head office at London weren’t.

“They have done something similar for other athletes. It’s disappointing but there is not a great deal we can do to change their minds unless Ed himself made a personal request for the location to be changed.”

However, Coun Gomez-Aspron revealed plans are underway for the council to officially pay tribute to track ace Clancy, and he is due to meet mayor Geoff Almond later this year.