A FORMER British bobsleigh champion from Stourbridge was among a host of former top athletes invited to a prestigious London gathering to celebrate the UK’s Olympic history.

Town businessman and former SAS man Alastair Kennedy-Rose, who competed in the 1984 Winter Olympics in Sarejevo, was among 300 British Olympians at the bash at London’s Mansion House, hosted by the Lord Mayor of the City of London, David Wooton, on July 25.

At the ceremony he rubbed shoulders with a host of top former athletes and medallists including Olympic cycling legend Tommy Godwin, aged 92, who won two bronze medals at the London Games of 1948.

Mr Kennedy-Rose said: “It was a great privilege to be invited; reunions with fellow Olympians from every sport and every era are always a wonderful occasion.

“On this night the honours really went to those surviving members of the British Olympic team of the last London games of 1948, some of whom had the best years of their sporting lives robbed by the Second World War.

“They were given an ovation by us all for having been the inspiration to many of us.”

Mr Kennedy-Rose also attended Friday’s opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games which he described as a “spectacular and enjoyable night” despite the “rather confusing sequence showing our island’s evolution from an agrarian society through the industrial revolution to the digital age”.

He said: “Many people were disappointed Steve Redgrave did not light the cauldron, most though considered the young athletes lighting it was a compromise to avoid singling out any one British Olympic great.”

He also criticised the number of seats left empty in the stadium during the ceremony - despite suggestions any vacancies would be filled by children, young athletes and servicemen and women.

He added: “With seats being sold at a face value of up to £2,012 is it any wonder there were unsold seats?”