HE MIGHT have starred at London 2012, but Paralympic gold medalist Mark Colbourne had to admit defeat yesterday to a nine-year-old boy.

Fortunately for the Tredegar track cycling star it was only a friendly game of Connect 4 with Morgan Hando at the Serennu centre, at High Cross, Newport, and not a race to add to his Paralympic medal haul.

Colbourne, who claimed a gold and two silvers at the London games was meeting children, in a visit to the charity Sparkle’s base.

He met children and their families, found out about the charity’s work and of course show off the all important bling.

He told the excited audience, many of whom were children with disabilities themselves, that he hoped his and the British team’s achievements at the games would inspire them to think that they could achieve anything they wanted in life.

Excited ten-year-old, Tomos Ebo, who suffers from cerebal palsy, said that meeting Mark was “the best day of my life. He’s my hero.”

Dan May, ten, who has spina bifida, said Colbourne had inspired him to be a Paralympian and he was already targeting the 2020 games.

Richard Willetts, from Cwmbran, who brings his ten-year-old grandson Kyran Bishop to the centre said Coulbourne had “shown the kids they could do anything they want.”

The Paralympic champion described the visit as “very humbling.”

He said: “To see the effect you’ve had in your own country, and even a month on people still wanting to celebrate with you and get your autograph, it is very touching.”