THE WORLD premiere of a play which tells the life of one of Britain's bravest athletes is about to take to the stage at Chandler's Ford.

Playwright Mark Wheeller has allowed Eastleigh Borough Youth theatre to present for the first time his latest work "Graham - The World's Fastest Blind Man."

It is the story of Graham Salmon MBE , the blind athlete who, died in 1999. As a baby he had to have both eyes removed due to eye cancer.

But his determination to overcome his disability and become a world champion athlete never failed him.

He represented Great Britain at every major athletics competition for the visually handicapped between 1977 and 1987. He clinched medals and broke records in the 100 metres, the 400 metres and the high jump.

He skied for Britain in the winter para olympics, played cricket at Lords.

In 1982, he earned a place in the Guiness Book of Records for the world's fastest blind man, covering 100 metres in just 11.4 seconds.

Mark Wheeler said: "It is, for me, the most personal play I think I shall ever write.

"Graham's life story is one which deserves to be told as widely as possible."

The premiere takes place at The Chandler's Ford Youth Centre (The Station) in Station Lane, on February 16 and 17, starting at 7.30pm.

Tickets, priced £5 and £3.50, are available by phoning the youth theatre office on 023 8062 7806.

Both Mark and the Eastleigh Borough Youth Theatre are hoping to take the play to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe - another first for the award-winning youth theatre cast.

The play has also been entered for the National Student Drama Festival due to be held in Scarborough in April.

The Eastleigh Borough Youth Theatre would love to hear from any companies or individuals who would like the opportunity of being involved by offering sponsorship.

Anyone who can help should contact Christine Farleigh on 02380627806 or e-mail