YOUNGSTERS at a York primary school got to meet a real-life Olympic hero.

Stan Wild, who lives in York, represented his country in gymnastics at two Olympics – in Mexico in 1968, and four years later in Munich in 1972.

It was through a connection with his gymnastic club that Mr Wild agreed to visit pupils at Tang Hall primary school to show them the torch he carried when the Olympic procession came to York last month.

Mr Wild carried it along Rougier Street, cheered on by past and present members of the York Gymnastics Centre that he started – as the York Gymnastics Club – almost 40 years ago.

Tang Hall head teacher Janet Colling said one of her staff, Michelle Murray volunteers at the club and knows Mr Wild.

She said: “Miss Murray asked him to come in and he was only too pleased. He went round every classroom to show the children the torch. He told them about the three sides representing the three times the UK has played host to the games and about how he got into gymnastics and went to the Olympics. He also told them about how he used to make some of his own equipment. The children were absolutely fascinated – they really enjoyed the visit.”

South Yorkshire-born Stan, who came to York in 1969 to teach physical education at the then York St John College, had a distinguished gymnastics career.

He represented his country at four world championships, three European Championships and two Olympic Games. He was also British champion for five years.

Mrs Colling said the school of 165 children has been doing a topic on the Olympics with youngsters learning about Olympic values and taking part in a Wii Olympics contest.

• Mr Wild is also one of 40 or so York sporting heroes featured in a new book – It’s How You Play The Game – by York oral historian Van Wilson which is published by York Archaeological Trust priced £9.99.