Diggle dancer Ollie is major hit as Morris Minor at Saddleworth Rushcart Festival

MORRIS MINOR Ollie Blair has danced his way to become an unwitting social media ‘celebrity.’

Ollie 5
Ollie enjoying the Rushcart Festival

A video of the Diggle youngster joining in step with Saddleworth Morris Men at the annual Rushcart weekend has been viewed on Facebook more than 16,000 times.

Now, Ollie, 4, is set to become an honorary Morris Man as the group intend presenting their new ‘member’ with his own sticks and bells.

“He is oblivious to all the attention,” laughed mum, Rebecca, an Oldham PE teacher. “He doesn’t have a clue what Facebook is.

“But whenever we say ‘the Morris men are on, shall we go and watch them’, he gets very excited.

“He likes dancing when you put music on and he is generally a happy, confident little boy.

“But we don’t push him into doing it, we leave it to Ollie. Some days he says he wants to be a footballer when he grows up, other days he says he wants to be a Morris Man.”

The 72 seconds video clip of Ollie, dancing in his wellies, was shot by catering company Manns Wharf owner, John Stevenson, outside the Church Inn and St Chad’s Church, Uppermill.

Ollie, who starts at Diggle School in September, had already shown off his nifty footwork the previous day in Dobcross and outside the Navigation Inn.

“His dad Matthew took him out on the Sunday, gave Ollie some handkerchiefs and wooden sticks and he properly really went for it in the last couple of dances,” explained Rebecca.

“Last year he did a bit more with another group and when he had finished they got him in the middle to take a bow. He loved that and has talked about it ever since.

Poppy and Ollie
Poppy and Ollie

“His sister Poppy is very proud of her little brother. She loves her gymnastics and usually gets most of the sporting attention so it’s nice for Ollie to get his share of the spotlight now.”

Rebecca admitted she’s been staggered by the response to John’s footage.

“We went to Kiln Green church and a lady from there had tagged my name on a Facebook post which is when I first saw it,” she explained.

“I didn’t think much of it until people started sharing it, including family and friends who live in different parts of the world. We know people in New Zealand so it’s probably been seen down there as well.”

John Stevenson added: ”I didn’t know who the little lad was but he just joined in the dancing and I thought it was fantastic!

“He was picking up the steps really quickly and was in perfect time – it’s obviously in his blood.

“I can’t believe how many views the video has had in just a few days. He’s a little star.”

 

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