Wakefield actor’s Great North Run role

ROLE: Actor Paul Wilson relives his powerlifting days during a performance of 'You Have Been Watching'. Picture: Ant Robling.
ROLE: Actor Paul Wilson relives his powerlifting days during a performance of 'You Have Been Watching'. Picture: Ant Robling.

An inspirational actor with Down’s Syndrome is to be featured as a ‘Local Hero’ during TV coverage of the Great North Run this Sunday.

Paul Wilson, from Wakefield, is doing the run for Dark Horse Theatre, which trains him and other actors with learning disabilities.

Mr Wilson, is no stranger to the big stage as he was a powerlifter who represented Great Britain at the Special Olympics in 2003. He also carried the Olympic Torch in Ossett in 2012.

Mr Wilson, 42, won multiple medals and was an eight-time UK Powerlifter Champion. But he retired from national competition in 2009. A few years later he took up training of a different kind with Dark Horse Theatre in Huddersfield in 2014. Paul’s mum. Joan, died of cancer in the same year. Now he wants to run to honour her memory and to raise funds for the theatre.

He said: “I want to take part in the Great North Run because I was inspired by the Dark Horse staff who did the Total Warrior Challenge last year to raise money. I want to do a challenge.”

The actor is an inspiration to Dark Horse staff and students alike. Lynda Hornsby, executive director of Dark Horse Theatre and who is also doing the Great North Run, said “It’s fantastic that Paul wants to do this challenge with us and for Dark Horse. We’ll be supporting each other in training and can learn a lot from Paul’s history in competing. We are looking forward to the run and crossing that finish line together.”

The Great North Run is one of a group of challenges Dark Horse are completing this year. There is also a 24-hour warm down in October. To support Paul visit: uk.virginmoneygiving.com/Team/DarkHorseTheatreGreatNorthRun2018.