Stamp of approval for Olympic gold medal winner Andy Hodge

Upper Wharfedale postman Alan Wain with a giant version of the special stamp, featuring Andy Hodge, at the gold postbox in Hebden

Upper Wharfedale postman Alan Wain with a giant version of the special stamp, featuring Andy Hodge, at the gold postbox in Hebden

First published in News

Craven’s Olympic gold medal rower Andy Hodge is still on cloud nine after his stunning win on Saturday.

Stroke man Andy and team mates Pete Reed, Tom James and Alex Gregory powered their way to victory in the men’s four in front of a capacity crowd of 30,000 people at Eton Dorney.

It was a historic day as Great Britain went on to win a further five gold medals, making it their most successful day at an Olympics in 104 years.

And the victory - which has been described as a masterpiece of rowing - has turned the quartet into celebrities.

Andy, who also won a gold medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, said: “It is crazy. People recognise you - and that it is not something that usually happens to rowers. I have never known anything remotely like this before.
“I feel as though I am on a wave, just bouncing from one thing to the next."

An iconic red post box in Andy Hodge’s hometown of Hebden has been painted gold by Royal Mail to celebrate his Olympic gold medal win.

And the box - outside Hebden Post Office - has won the backing of the victorious rower.

“I am really proud,” said Andy, who moved to the village when he was just one. “In one of the many forms we had to fill out, we had to say where we considered home.”

He had no hesitation putting Hebden, even though he now lives in Oxford.

“Hebden made me what I am today and everyone there is part of my gold medal. It means everything to me.”

Andy’s dad, Peter, who still lives in the village, also supported the initiative, saying it was “absolutely brilliant”.

“It really makes me smile,” said Peter. “I think it is a stroke of genius.”

Royal Mail has also produced a set of special gold medal stamps, one of which features an action image of Andy and his team mates Pete Reed, Tom James and Alex Gregory during Saturday’s final.

“I think it is amazing,” said Andy, who has sent a first day cover featuring the stamp and an Olympic Park postmark to his dad, a keen philatelist. “It is something really special.”

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