Village soldier is torchbearer

BALFRON soldier Robbie Donaldson was nominated by his girlfriend for a coveted spot on the UK tour of the Olympic Torch Relay.

Robbie (28) from Keirhill Farm will carry the flame through Alloa on June 13.

Since undergoing military training at Sandhurst, Robbie has spent most of his time in the army serving in Germany with The Highlanders, 4th Battalion, The Royal Regiment of Scotland, but he has also taken part in operation tours in both Iraq and Afghanistan.

He recently became a trustee of the Dougie Dalzell Memorial Trust, set up in memory of one of his good friends who was killed in Afghanistan in 2010.

It has already raised over £250,000 to help improve the lives of wounded soldiers.

Keen sportsman and family man Robbie said: “I must mention my wonderful girlfriend Caroline who, unbeknown to me, entered me into the competition to be a torchbearer while I was away on operations last year.

“It must have been really hard for her while I was in Afghanistan, and she was fantastically supportive.

“The fact that I’m doing this is a result of her selflessness. She’s a very special girl who I love very much, so I’d like to say a big thankyou to her.”

Robbie, who has a Masters degree from Leeds University in civil and environmental engineering, is due to leave the army in August after six years’ service to pursue a career in the renewable energy industry.

Stuart Crickmar, of the Clackmannanshire Olympic Torch Relay task force, said: “We are looking forward to welcoming the inspirational torchbearers.”