He won the hearts of people in Dereham when he heroically completed the London Marathon.

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And thousands of local people will be able to salute Craig Richardson as he switches on the town’s Christmas lights on Sunday November 25.

The 25-year-old former RAF Regiment senior aircraftman lost half his leg in an explosion in Afghanistan in 2008. Despite that, Craig ran the race of his life in April to complete the epic 26 mile run in the capital wearing his carbon-fibre blade, tailor-made for running.

“It will be a real honour,” said Craig.

The lights will go on at 4.30pm. Mayor Linda Monument and rector the Rev Sally Theakston will also be on the stage.

The event sees the biggest gathering of people of the year in Dereham and marks the count down to the festive season.

The format will be similar to previous years with the afternoon of entertainment being co-ordinated by Dereham Town Council getting under way at 1.30pm.

As usual there will be a stage in the Market Place near the cinema. Among the acts will be the Dereham Town Singers, who have performed for the past few years as well as at the Diamond Jubilee event, and Dereham singer Keeley Rayner. Father Christmas will be in the Assembly Rooms and is sure to be a popular draw.

There will also be festive stalls run by local organisations and charities; anyone interested in having one should contact Dawn Brightman at the town council on 01362 693821.

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