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Millionaire benefactor promised Wigan teen a spin in his ‘James Bond’ car if she reached the Olympic finals

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Wigan’s Olympic star Keely Hodgkinson got to fulfill a lifelong dream after scooping a silver in Tokyo.

Her millionaire benefactor, Barrie Wells, promised Keely a ride in his vintage Aston Martin DB5 as an incentive to reach the final.

Mr Wells – a millionaire business tycoon from Liverpool and huge athletics fan – sponsored Keely after she missed out on funding in preparation for Tokyo, despite being one of UK Athletics’ rising stars.

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He also promised her a spin in an Aston Martin, James Bond’s car, if she made the 800 metre final – where she took silver.

And he duly fulfilled his promise with Keely getting behind the wheel of the car on Tuesday.

Keely, from Atherton, said: “I’ve had the privilege of driving a beautiful James Bond DB5, which is used in the films, incredible.



Keely Hodgkinson behind the wheel

“Obviously, Barrie Wells promised me this when I made the Olympic final so it’s really great to fulfil that dream here.

“I reached 50 miles per hour but that feels a lot faster in a little DB5, so yeah, it was cool.”



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Mr Wells, 81, who has made millions creating and selling on financial companies, stepped in to allow Ms Hodgkinson to prepare for the Olympics, as the student at Leeds Beckett University was reliant on her parents.



Keely had a spin in the car famously driven by 007

It meant she was able to do warm weather training in Florida in preparation for Tokyo.

Mr Wells had previously sponsored 18 athletes for the London 2012 games, including Jessica Ennis and Katarina Johnson-Thompson.

The philanthropist and his charity the Barrie Wells Trust then concentrated on another initiative, Box4Kids, providing corporate boxes at sporting events for seriously ill children and their families.

Keely was joined by six Box4Kids guests at the Aston Martin factory in Newport Pagnell for the day out involving the car famously driven by 007.

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