Paul is in Olympic running

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While it’s been almost a fortnight since the Olympic torch lit up East Renfrewshire, one southsider is still awaiting his time to shine.

Paul McGhee, a 24-year-old from Newton Mearns, will be carrying the flame through Gretna today (Thursday).

The former Hutchesons’ Grammar pupil was given the honour after a year-long battle with Hodgkin’s lymphona.

The southsider said: “I knew my school friend Stuart Lee had nominated me, but I never thought anything would come of it.

“Now I have been picked it hasn’t really hit me yet, but, I am very excited. Having seen the relay on TV I don’t think I will ever experience anything else like it in my life.

“All my family are coming and all my friends are trying to make sure they get the time off work”.

After a difficult 12 months of radiotherapy and chemotherapy, Paul was finally declared cancer free in January last year.

A promising golfer, Paul had the world at his feet and was well on the way to his childhood dream of being a professional golfer after making a success of a scholarship to Johnston and Wales University in Miami.

However, after being diagnosed with the illness, Paul — who is a member of East Renfrewshire golf club — had to cut his university career short to head home for treatment.

He told The Extra: “I was just a month off finishing my degree but because treatment in America would have cost an arm and a leg, I had to come home”.

The golfer had to take 18 months out of education for treatment and recovery before going back to university to finish his degree in sport and event management at the University of West of Scotland.

Now, the fit-again southsider has just started a job as a marketing officer with Scottish Youth Theatre and is intent on giving back after being given the all clear.

Last year, he organised a flagship cancer support ball, which raised almost £30,000 for the cause.

He plans to do the same again in 2013 and annually thereafter, and hopes to do between four and six events a year to raise money for cancer patients and support organisations.

Paul added: “Although the golf isn’t quite back to where it used to be, it’s getting there and I am extremely grateful my life is getting back to normal”.