A Facebook campaign, “Gordon Roberts (Gordon the Tramp) for Bournemouth's Olympic Torch Bearer” has attracted 5,000 supporters, and counting.
Gordon Roberts, 82, is a cult figure in Bournemouth, famed for his uncanny knack of knowing the time despite not owning a watch.
Roberts – who actually lives in a house and is not a “tramp” – has walked the streets of Bournemouth for 20 years and is a familiar face.
Now fans of ‘Gordon the Tramp’ are nominating their bearded hero to be Bournemouth’s Olympic torch bearer, hailing him as an “inspirational member of the community”.
“Nominate the local hero who everyone can't help but ask the time! He deserves it,” reads the blurb on Gordon Roberts’s Facebook page.
The campaign seems to be gathering speed.
On their Facebook page, organisers said they were taking steps to get “Gordon the Tramp” carrying the Olympic flame.
“We have emailed the people in charge of nominations at Coca Cola, Samsung and LLoyds in the very early stages of this group in regards to using this group …as an alternative means of nominating Gordon- Coca cola are unfortunately unable to help, but Samsung are very interested in talking to us about it (which we are going to do, after speaking to Gordon),” the campaigners wrote.
Roberts will now be put forward to the London Organising Committee for the Olympic Games (LOCOG).
“I'd do it but what if it rains? It would be very good fun, very good fun,” was Roberts’ slightly blasé reaction.
Gordon Roberts is already used to the limelight as his time-telling skills have made him the star of numerous Youtube clips and Facebook pages.
He’s allowed in free to AFC Bournemouth matches.
Jade Reynolds, 21, and Looby Ratcliffe, 20, are behind the “Gordon Roberts (Gordon the Tramp) for Bournemouth's Olympic Torch Bearer” campaign.
Reynolds told the Daily Mail: “Gordon is just the nicest, most genuine man you could ever hope to meet.
“He's a great person – he's always got a happy word to say and everyone loves seeing him. So when we saw an advert for local heroes to carry the Olympic torch, he was the first person who came to mind.”
Ratcliffe added: “People like us have grown up with him – he's a big part of the community and always stops to chat to people.
“We'd love to see a local hero carrying the Olympic torch and doing us proud.”
Gordon the tramp’s Facebook page describes him as "living proof that you don't need the luxuries, the newest car or an expensive suit, that people are convinced they need to be happy!"
Add your support to the Gordon Roberts (Gordon the Tramp) for Bournemouth's Olympic Torch Bearer campaign