Athletics: Proud Jonnie Peacock reveals that sporting brilliance does run in the family

 

Jonnie Peacock is not the first gifted sportsman to emerge from his family. "No," the Cambridge teenager reflected yesterday, the morning after his victory in the T44 Paralympic 100m final, "my grandad played football for Everton and Liverpool.

"He was John Roberts. He was known as 'Johnny Boy.' He actually quit football to become a painter. I'm not too sure about all of the details because he died a couple of months before I was born."

Still, it transpired yesterday that 'Johnny Boy' had an influence on Jonnie's show-stealing victory in the battle of the Blade Runners on Thursday night. After winning the blue riband event of the Games in 10.90sec, a Paralympic record, with Oscar Pistorius out of the medals in fourth place, Peacock scanned the faces in the delirious 80,000 crowd to find his mother, Linda Roberts.

She told the 19-year-old that she had deliberately lied to him about a message from his late grandfather, via a medium.

"She went to see a psychic a few years ago and she told me then that my grandfather had said, via the psychic, 'He'll go to the Paralympics and he'll get silver'," Peacock said. "She told me last night that she had lied because she didn't want me to know at the time. She said that the psychic had actually told her that my grandfather actually said that I was going to go to the Paralympics and win a gold medal."

Peacock, who had his right leg amputated because of meningococcal septicaemia at the age of five, was uncertain where his mother was sitting and spent his lap of honour of the Olympic Stadium seeking her. He found her by the long-jump pit on the back straight.

"She was the one person I wanted to see after the race," Peacock said. "I wanted to give her a massive hug. She was in tears. I think she would've been in tears even if I'd been last, just because of how far I've come since I was five. She was just so proud."

Peacock also told of how, while his mother was pregnant, a blind man touched her stomach, predicting that he would be blond with blue eyes. "It's hard to believe in things you can't see," the blond-haired, blue-eyed East Anglian said. "I'm a very factual person. I'm a maths and science guy."

The fastest amputee on the planet revealed that Pistorius had taken him to one side after the heats on Wednesday night and asked him whether he also happened to be a religious guy. "I told him that I was a little bit," Peacock said. "And then he asked 'Do you mind if I pray for you?' He told me to go out there and do my country proud before saying a prayer in Afrikaans.

"I've got so much respect for that guy. After the race I just gave him a huge hug. And he said to me, 'I told you you'd do it'."

Peacock did not get to sleep until 3am yesterday, having celebrated his victory with a junk-food gorge after months of counting the calories.

"I'm still running off the adrenalin," Peacock said. "I've had three hours' sleep.

"I had a well-earned McDonald's when I got back to the village. I had a Chicken Legend, 12 chicken nuggets and a Wispa Gold McFlurry. No fries. I'm not a big fan of them. With those nuggets I was still in athlete mode thinking about the protein."

And about what fuelled Usain Bolt to Olympic sprint glory in Beijing and London, no doubt.

GB Roll of Honour: Yesterday's medals

Gold (1)

Athletics: Women's Discus Throw F51/52/53: Josie Pearson

Bronze (3)

Cycling: Women’s Individual H1-3

Road Race: Rachel Morris

Wheelchair Tennis: Women’s

Doubles: Lucy Shuker & Jordanne Whiley

Table Tennis: Men’s Team Class 6-8: Will Bayley, Ross Wilson, Aaron

McKibbin

Voices
On the last day of campaigning before the polling booths open, the SNP leader has written to voters in a final attempt to convince them to vote for independence
voicesIs a huge gamble on oil keeping the First Minister up at night?
Arts and Entertainment
Rosalind Buckland, the inspiration for Cider with Rosie died this week
booksBut what is it like to be the person who inspires a classic work of art?
Life and Style
techApple has just launched its latest mobile operating software – so what should you do first?
News
A male driver reverses his Vauxhall Astra from a tow truck
newsThe 'extremely dangerous' attempt to avoid being impounded has been heavily criticised
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Lionel Messi in action for Barcelona
filmWhat makes the little man tick?
Arts and Entertainment
tvReview: An undercooked end (spoiler alert)
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Pharrell dismissed the controversy surrounding
musicThe singer said 'the last thing I want to do is degrade'
Sport
Cesc Fabregas celebrates his first Chelsea goal
footballChelsea vs Schalke match report
Arts and Entertainment
Toby Jones (left) and Mackenzie Crook in BBC4’s new comedy The Detectorists
tvMackenzie Crook's 'Detectorists' makes hobby look 'dysfunctional'
Life and Style
fashion

Olympic diver has made his modelling debut for Adidas

News
i100
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week