Families must be so proud of selfish train pair - Argus Friday 23rd September 2016

Posted Monday 26th September 2016   By Ericka Waller

Would you give up your place on a train? Disabled 43-year-old Cat Lee posted a photo of the two men who refused to get out of her reserved seats online with the comment ‘Meet these two gentlemen. Charming fellows took seats reserved for Rach and I. As a disable passenger I stated why I needed my reserved seat. They did not budge. I’m sure their wives and mothers would be proud of them.’

One of the culprits, who according to Lee spent the journey ‘discussing luxury holidays in the Caribbean and Dubai’ contacted the Mail and said Mrs Lee said she could not stand because she suffered from groin pain but she did not claim to be disabled’

Did he not hear what she had said? He’d just been told he was in the seat of someone who had reserved it and needed it due to chronic pain. She’d told him she could not stand. Why the hell didn’t he move?

The father of one of the sons contacted the paper and said ‘I know my son and I know he would have given up his seat for the elderly or anyone who needed it.’

Photo evidence suggests otherwise.

I could register as disabled due to my Rheumatoid Arthritis. I never would however, for two reasons. The first being that I am okay the majority of the time, and would feel a fraud. The second being I could not bear to deal with situations like the above all the time. It would destroy my faith in mankind.

Thank goodness then, for those beautiful Browlea brothers.

It’s the perfect story. Two ambitious, competitive boys, racing against one another in the Triathlon World Series, both of them looking good for the gold, until one of them loses his battle with fierce Mexican sun. What did the other one do? What would you do? Alistair Brownlea chose to drag his brother Jonny over the finish line and in doing so, won the hearts of the nation.

Baby brother Jonny was leading the hideously gruelling race, but with just 700 meters left to go, Cozumel’s humid climate got the better of him. He was on the verge of collapse, and would surely have fallen and be left by the wayside if his elder brother Alistair, who was in third place, hadn’t run up and caught him, propped him up under his arm, and pushed him over the finish line.

Jonny said “I remember my legs going a little bit wobbly and thinking: 'I'm not going to make it to the finish line. I remember Alistair coming past me and saying: 'You can make it'. And then my last memory is falling over the finish line and getting carried off. He threw away his chance to win. It takes a very strong and good person to do that.”

Alistair said "I've been in that position before, in London maybe six years ago. I remember being in second trying to win the race and then waking up and being told I'd come 10th. I was like: 'Why didn't all those people who came past me help me out?' so I didn't give it a second thought. I just had to help him. I sat for an hour after the race thinking: 'Did I do the right thing? Would he have received medical attention quicker if I'd just left him? Is it the wrong thing to carry someone over the line?”

No Alistair it was not. It was heroic, selfless and inspirational.

The song ‘ He ain’t heavy’ by the Hollies could have been written about him. ‘The road is long, With many a winding turn, That leads us to who knows where, Who knows when, But I'm strong, Strong enough to carry him, He ain't heavy, he's my brother’

I’m pretty certain the Brownlea brothers would give up their seats on the train, whether the person who needed it was disabled or not.


SO apparently giving up social media will make us happier. But how we will let everyone know how much happier, mindful and zen we are if we can’t brag about it on Facebook? Much like a tree falling silently in a forest if no one is around to hear it, if it’s not on Facebook, did it really happen.

Facebook has become a part of my life. It’s like a smoking break for my brain. I don’t know if I could cope without watching a cat get scared by a cucumber or a photo of someone’s lunch.  

Young people seem to be moving away from it however. It’s for us ‘oldies’ now. They prefer Snap Chat (think photos of people with flowers on their head),  Watts App and other sites that their parents can’t spy on.