Hero’s welcome for golden girl Ellie Simmonds

Golden girl Ellie Simmonds was today given a hero’s welcome as she returned to her home town for a victory parade.

Crowds lined the streets to welcome the double gold medal winning Paralympian home. The 17-year-old first stopped off in her home town of Aldridge where she visited a postbox painted gold in her honour.

She then headed to her former primary school Cooper & Jordan, in The Green, where the swimming pool has been renamed in her honour. Dressed in a Team GB tracksuit, Ellie spoke to crowds of screaming children who sporadically broke out into chants of ‘Ellie, Ellie’.

She said: “Thank you all so much for the support, it is really good to be back here at the school that I love.

“Thank you very much. I hope you have a lot of enjoyment in this pool, as I did when I was young.”

Mary Cox, aged 68, of Chatsworth Crescent, was at the postbox in Aldridge with her great-grandson, two-year-old Lewis. She said: “It is just lovely, she deserves something like this. She inspires other people to do something similar.”

The teenager was boarding an open top bus to head to Walsall town hall for official photographs and a reception.

Ellie won two gold medals, a silver and a bronze at the London 2012 Paralympics. Last night she was named Inspirational Hero of 2012 at the Radio 1 Teen Awards.

One Direction scooped a hat-trick, picking up Best British Music Act, Best British Single for One Thing and Best British Album for Up All Night.