Tony after receiving his honorary degree

Tony with his olympic torch after receiving his honorary doctorate from Bolton University on Friday 17th July 2015.

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Tony holding a phograph of himself with other athletes.

Tony holding a picture of himself with, clockwise, from top left: Amir Khan, the Mayor of Bolton, Cllr Anthony Connell, Vernon Kay and Jason Kenny.

Tony was born with cerebral palsy in February 1960. He went to his first Paralympics in the south of France aged just 16 and travelled again with the British team to Holland in 1980.

But four years later came his most successful event to date, the 1984 Paralympic Games in New York.

President Ronald Reagan opened the games and Tony even found time to call his mum from the top of the Empire State Building.

"It was a very special moment, meeting the most powerful man in the world" he said. "It was a split second thing at the opening ceremony. He shook everyone’'s hand."

"We were treated like stars there. It didn’'t matter whether you were in a wheelchair or not. But it has taken a long time to get the same reaction in this country. I called my mum after I got a silver in the weightlifting. I was disappointed to be honest because I had trained so hard and I wanted the gold. But I guess I didn’'t do too badly."

Tony brought home two golds, for javelin and the Indian club —and two world records to boot.

His world record throw of 50 metres in the Indian club,— an event similar to the hammer —stands to this day.

In his 10-year career, the Bolton athlete won a total of 38 medals.

When his mother died in 1989, he buried the medals with her. "She was the driving force behind me," he says. "She sacrificed so much. I never thought of myself as disabled. She taught me to be independent."

The 1986 Commonwealth Games marked his last sporting performance on the international stage, as he settled down to start a family.

He now lives in Bolton with his second wife and his six children.

Now, Tony has just been named the town’s Sports Ambassador for 2009 by Bolton Council.

New York - 1984

Paralympic powerlifting has been competed at every Summer Paralympics since 1984.

Weightlifting had been on the Paralympic program since 1964, however after the 1992 Games the IPC decided to drop weightlifting and hold powerlifting events only.

Women first competed in the sport at the 2000 Sydney Paralympics.



Games Gold Silver Bronze
1984 United States Alfred Dore (USA) Great Britain Anthony Griffin (GBR) None

Message received from Sticklepath Community Primary Academy School, Barnstaple on 30th January 2020

"Hi Tony

I thought you might like to see some of the comments I have received following your visit:

"I liked looking at the medal that he brought in from the queen" - Jenson

"I liked looking at and feeling the paralympic torch" - J

"I liked looking at his paralympic t-shirt" - S

"What a great afternoon. The Year 1's were captivated by Tony and they didn't want him to leave!" – Yr 1 Teacher

"It was an honour to meet such a sporting legend and to see the London 2012 Paralympic torch, given to only one English man, was incredible. What an inspirational man!" - Reception Teacher

"Thank you for visiting our class the children were inspired by your visit." – Nurture Class

"My son never willingly gives up information about his day but clearly something stuck with him from this visit which is amazing because he actually sat down and told me all about it straight away when he got home this afternoon, he even asked me to take a photo of his hand that Tony signed! My daughter was very impressed he had so many medals." - Parent

An email received from Birthenshaw Hall school on 3rd October 2022

Today we have been doing some research into your life and career and as part of National poetry week, they have written a poem in your honour. I have attached their work and would like you to keep it as a sign of our admiration for you.

Tony Griffin

A poem from the pupils of Griffin Class Birtenshaw Hall School

Today we honour a special Boltonian
Olympic medal winner and a really nice man.
You help to guide us, and give us so much inspiration.
A record breaking superstar,
Incredible and amazing,
you always followed your dreams.
From humble beginnings to New York City.
In conversation with both presidents and royalty but never forgetting your driving force,
your wonderful mum.

KH Decorating Services

Tony with the paralympic torch

Would you like Tony to appear at your event, function, conference?
Charitable events are a fixed price to cover expenses to be agreed with the organisers. All other events fees to be agreed depending on the venue.
Contact Tony on 07935 309278 for further details.

Tony's book is currently being written by established Author Sara Vernon.
For any enquiries contact Tony on 07935 309278

International Paralympics Commitee Logo

International Paralympic Commitee

The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) is the global governing body of the Paralympic Movement. The IPC organizes the Summer and Winter Paralympic Games, and serves as the International Federation for nine sports, for which it supervises and co-ordinates the World Championships and other competitions.

The IPC is committed to enabling Paralympic athletes to achieve sporting excellence and to developing sport opportunities for all persons with a disability from the beginner to elite level. In addition, the IPC aims to promote the Paralympic values, which include courage, determination, inspiration and equality.

Special thanks to the Bolton News, Hulton Photography and all the sportsmen & celebrities concerned for their kind permission to use the photographs displayed on this website

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