The famous Strictly glitterball trophy was brought home to Market Deeping this week, by our local hero Cassidy Little, who was crowned champion of the first ever People’s Strictly on BBC One.
Royal Marine Cassidy, lifted the glitterball trophy with his dance partner Natalie Lowe, live on Comic Relief night on Friday last week after winning the title, marking the start of an “incredible” new chapter in his life.
After having his leg blown off in Afghanistan, Cassidy thought his dancing day’s were over, but little did he know that he would go on to win the show, as voted for by the nation.
Speaking to the Mercury after his win, Cassidy said: “It was just the perfect way to end this incredible experience. It’s amazing to win, but at the same time it’s unfortunate that there had to be one winner.”
The marine, from Canada, has been overwhelmed by the support he has received from the local community.
He said: “The support has been incredible! Market Deeping as a whole, has been really supportive. The reaction from everyone has been really sweet, people that pass me in the street tell me that they voted for me and that’s an incredible feeling.”
The support has been incredible! Market Deeping as a whole, has been really supportive.Cassidy Little
As well as the support from the community, Cassidy has also received a huge amount of support from the forces.
“They love it. They’ve been incredible and have been right there behind me,” he said.
Cassidy’s Strictly experience began after being selected from 11,000 entries to take part in The People’s Strictly, along with five other members of the public, chosen for their ‘heroic’ efforts.
Cassidy got the surprise of his life when it was revealed that he was going to embark on the incredible Strictly journey, including travelling to Madrid with his dance partner Natalie Lowe, to learn the art of his chosen dance the paso doble.
He said: “Madrid was one of my favourite moments of the whole experience, it was pretty incredible to meet people that dance for a living.”
Cassidy who was previously apprehensive about taking on the dramatic dance, proved himself wrong when it came to his performance on the famous Strictly ballroom screened on Wednesday, which scored straight 10s from the judges Len Goodman, Bruno Tonioli, Darcey Bussell and Anton du Beke.
He said: “There’s no way Natalie and I could have expected 10s. I just wanted to do my best for her.”
The pair got a standing ovation from the studio audience but were still stunned to be named the winners by Strictly hosts Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman.
A new father to his eight-month-old daughter, Elegra, with wife Laura, Cassidy has vowed to keep dancing.
He said: “I hope to continue dancing, my wife is an incredible dancer and she loves the direction this is going in.”
Cassidy also hopes to stay in touch with his “lovely” dance partner Natalie who he has shared this “incredible” experience with.
The glitterball trophy now takes pride of place at Cassidy’s home in Market Deeping, reminding him of the battles he has overcome.
He added: “I never forget the fact that I’m disabled. Yes, I went out and performed the paso doble, but that doesn’t mean when I take my leg off at night, that I’m not having to crawl or use crutches.
“But you adapt, you overcome and you make it happen.”