A FORMER Widnes postman has carried the Olympic flame through the grounds of Windsor Castle.

Ian Rostance, aged 56, who now works as cabin crew, was chosen for the honour by his colleagues at British Airways.

Tens of thousands of staff were invited to nominate 40 torchbearers as the company sponsors the London 2012 Olympics.

Bachelor Ian, from Coronation Drive, Hough Green, now lives in Wandsworth, London, and has recently overcome serious illness.

He brought his torch home to Widnes to show his family.

His proud brother, David, aged 63, of Hall Lane, Cronton, said: “He persevered through a serious health crisis, though not life threatening, and still soldiered on.

“He had to have two discs removed from his back, yet he never let his colleagues down. They said he is a really co-operative guy and they think the world of him.”

David watched his brother run through the gardens of Windsor Castle.

He said: “The atmosphere was tremendous. There were huge crowds. We didn’t anticipate anything like the number of people who turned up.

“There was a real carnival atmosphere.

“Ian thought it was absolutely fabulous. When we went to the pub afterwards, he had minor celebrity status. Everyone was coming up to congratulate him.”

Former Bankfield pupil, Ian has travelled all over the world in long haul for BA for 15 years, after spending 10 years working for Scandinavian Airways.

He was an apprentice armature winder for Frank Vowles Electrical Engineering in Widnes, where he repaired and rewired motors.

He also worked at the Manweb shop in Widnes Road.