Peter is his family’s hero

Kilsyth man Peter O’Hara is a super-fit 69-year-old who’s a top squash coach and a perfect advertisement for living a healthy and active life.

But what most people didn’t realise as he took the Commonwealth Games baton on a key stretch of the ‘home run’ in central Glasgow was that he is a hard-fighting survivor of major injury.

It has taken Peter years of dedicated training to rebuild his health to its current pitch, and carrying the baton in Glasgow at the weekend held a very special significance for him and his family.

His son, also Peter, a fireman, said: “I think so many people who know him will be delighted that he was chosen for this honour.

“He doesn’t make much of what he has been through, as that isn’t his style, but he is certainly no ordinary dad.

“A lot of people would be surprised by just how far he has come, and for all of us he is a hero for managing to do what he has done.”

Mr O’Hara, a Forces veteran, wasn’t particularly surprised to be chosen for the relay, as his athletic record speaks for itself.

But he did apparently suffer from some pre-run nerves ahead of the weekend – apparently more from a form of stage fright than any concern he might not manage the run.

That was never in doubt, particularly with son Peter, his wife Rhona, and grandchildren Jay, Lee and Kacey cheering him on.

The unassuming Kilsyth sports fanatic is said to be well-kn0wn in squash circles across the UK, and in fact has an international reputation.

But the baton relay nomination was down to regular players Elaine and Linda Duncan at the Newlands, Glasgow, club where he’s coach.

Peter jnr said: “It’s a measure of the esteem in which dad is held.

“Everyone knows he is no ordinary sportsman, and that he has worked very, very hard to be the success that he is today.

“We are all incredibly proud of him, and the baton relay day was just fantastic for the family.

“A lot of people who know dad will see he was there and realise that he fully deserved the honour.”

For Mr O’Hara snr it was nothing less than the experience of a lifetime.

He was pleased to be among others who have fought their way to fitness after major setbacks – and thrilled his family were with him for his special day.

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