WAR hero Ben Parkinson relinquishes his Olympic torch for a minute - to toast a new beer made in his honour.
The Parkinson’s Gold Medale brew, is in celebration of both the Olympics and Doncaster’s courageous paratrooper and has been devised after the 27-year-old from Besscarr touched the heart of the nation when he walked an incredible 300 metres down Bennetthorpe to carry the Olympic flame.
He is the worst injured British soldier to survive the war in Afghanistan after losing both his legs and breaking his back, hips and ribs in 2006 when his Land Rover hit a mine.
So punters are keen to mark his amazing achievements through this new link with the London Games.
Ben’s charity Pilgrim Bandits will benefit as customers at Cask Corner in Cleveland Street and other venues buy a pint of the ale which has been produced by Mexborough’s Imperial Brewery.
The limited-edition beer, which costs £2.70 with 10p from every pint to go to the charity, is brewed by Imperial to celebrate the year of the Olympics. The idea of naming it after Ben came through a brewery website competition.
Ben’s injuries prevent him from supping his namesake pint but his proud mum Diane, said: “He’s delighted. It’s every para’s dream to have a beer named after them.
“The brewery invited Ben and some of the Pilgrims along to see the beer being made.
“It was really exciting - Ben’s thrilled. He can’t drink because of his head injuries, but I’m sure the rest of the team will enjoy a pint for him.”
Marc Jones, 37, landlord at Cask Corner, said: “I got a call from the brewery asking if I would be interested in selling this beer and said yes straight away.
“Ben’s an asset to Doncaster; what he’s done is a massive achievement. He’s not given up, he’s a fighter and we all have massive respect for him.
“He’s Doncaster born and bred and an inspiration to everyone in the town, so I know this will be a popular pint.”
The 4.2 per cent pale ale went on sale on Monday, following a launch in Mexborough on Saturday night.
The Free Press is campaigning to get Ben a top honour. TV and sport stars have backed the call for him to be recognised in the New Year’s Honours List.