Village welcomes home golden shot Skelhon

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A SHOOTING sensation who secured gold after hitting the bullseye was given a hero's welcome on his return home last night.

A SHOOTING sensation who secured gold after hitting the bullseye was given a hero's welcome on his return home last night.Matt Skelhon won the medal in Beijing during his first ever shot at the Paralympic Games with a near perfect display.

As he drove through his home village of Stilton, near Peterborough, last night, the 23-year-old was greeted by more than 200 friends and relatives lining streets decked with balloons and banners.

There were screams, claps, cheers and tears as Matt was then reunited with fans eager to celebrate his paralympic success. He took up shooting a little over two years ago at Whittlesey Rifle Club, after losing the use of his legs in a car accident.

Speaking exclusively to The Evening Telegraph, mohawked Matt said: "Getting that gold medal was amazing, I am just so proud to have done it for my country, my family and friends and also myself."

Matt touched down at Heathrow yesterday after a 10-hour flight from Hong Kong.

The GB team, who were greeted by Prime Minister Gordon Brown, won 42 gold, 29 silver and 31 bronze medals, putting them second only to hosts China in the medal table.

Back in Stilton, manager of Stilton Country Club, Diane Glenn, who organised the celebrations, was on hand to give Matt his welcome home pint.

After realising the impact his achievements in Beijing has had on locals in the village, Matt said: "I didn't expect to come home to such a welcoming, it was so overwhelming.

"Winning the gold medal took a while to sink in. When I woke up and realised what had happened, it was mental."

The star's number one fans, Derek and Anne Foot and Shirley Dean were also waiting to meet their grandson.

Mr Foot (77) said: "Seeing him win the gold medal had us all a bit choked up. We are very proud of him."

Matt's mum, Mary, added: "Words cannot explain how proud everyone is."