Burnham-On-Sea News
October 2004

Paralympic winner Anthony gets hero’s welcome in Burnham

Paralympic swimming winner Anthony Stephens has received a hero’s welcome by touring the streets of Burnham and Highbridge in an open-top bus.

Many hundreds of people lined the route between Highbridge community hall and Burnham’s Princess theatre to get a glimpse of the 18-year-old (pictured) with his medals which he won in Athens this summer.

Anthony was given a civic reception in The Princess, where he was presented with an Achievement Award by Burnham and Highbridge mayor Louise Parkin.

Former King Alfred School pupil Anthony, who lives in Burnham, brought back one silver and three bronze medals from the Paralympic games and town councillors felt he should be honoured.

Anthony said: “It was really nice to see everybody there who has supported me through it all. I was quite surprised to come home and find out it had all been arranged for me, I thought that once I was past all the airport media, I would be getting back to normal life.”

Cllr Parkin added: “It was absolutely fantastic. The cheers from the crowd were fantastic and, as we were driving past, people had flags in their gardens and were waving handwritten signs. In the High Street and The Esplanade, it was absolutely brilliant.”

Anthony was born with no legs and just one fully developed arm, but has not let this get in his way. He has been swimming from the age of three and breaking records since he was 10.

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