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  1. ITV Report

Hundreds welcome gold-medal winning swimmer Josef Craig back to school

Paralympic gold medallist Josef Craig has arrived back at his school to a 1,500-person surprise.

Pupils from St Joseph's in Hebburn lined a red carpet and packed out the school's stairways and halls.

He said: "Thanks for all the support. I'm really happy to be at this school and have all these friends."

Frank O'Neill, Head at St Joseph's, said: "We followed every stroke. You were cheered on by the whole community and the school.

"We've seen what you've done and now we ask, what can we do?"

The teenager has now been asked to open a new pool in Jarrow and to be the first person to swim in it.

Craig won a gold medal in the 400m S7 freestyle in a world record time, knocking significant time from the previous record.

And, just a year earlier, he had been effectively ruled out of the Games after being diagnosed with Grave's Disease - which can cause organ failure.

Head of Year Paula Young said: "At the beginning of the Paralympics, I had to type your full name into Google to find out your race times. But, after 'Thriller Thursday' you were the most Googled Josef by far.

"It was so good to see your hard work pay off."