Bolton School Senior Boys

Bolton School Shines at Paralympic Opening Ceremony

Former Bolton School pupils played a key role in the Paralympics opening ceremony, an event described as "both spectacular and deeply human" by the London 2012 organisers.

Old Boy Sir Ian McKellen joined Professor Stephen Hawking to narrate a scientific ‘journey of discovery’, and also played Prospero, a character from Shakespeare's The Tempest in the spectacular ceremony. Fellow former pupil, Sir Philip Craven, entered the ceremony with The Queen in his role as International Paralympic Committee President.

Sir Philip, who has previously competed in the Paralympic wheelchair basketball competition, also praised Bolton in his speech, saying: "This country has an insatiable appetite for sport. London 2012 has done a tremendous job in making everyone feel that these are their Games. Imagine my pride when I discovered that the Paralympic mascot Mandeville had been hand crafted by a retired steelworker from my home town of Bolton. Tonight is the start of something extremely special. Tonight is about welcoming the world to a global Games, an event where we will experience every single emotion, including ones we never thought possible."

Philip Britton, Headmaster at Bolton School Boys’ Division, said: “I was very proud to see two Bolton School old boys in the opening ceremony. Both men have already shown themselves to be able to inspire a generation in visits to the school and they contributed to that Olympic legacy on the night. Sir Ian was inspirational at a drama workshop a couple of years ago when the drama studio opened and Sir Philip made a huge impact on Bolton at the School’s Tillotson lecture last October with his message of concentrating on what can be done rather than what cannot.”

Old Boy Sir Philip Craven, along with Lord Sebastian Coe

Old Boy Sir Philip Craven, along with Lord Sebastian Coe, discussed the Olympic and Paralympic legacy for the North-West of England at the School's prestigious annual Tillotson Lecture

Sir Ian McKellen

Sir Ian McKellen returned to Bolton School to open a drama studio in his name