IT'S been more than 30 years since 'Eddie the Eagle' landed.

But the unlikely Olympian is still inspiring people 30 years later with his unique story coming to represent the British plucky spirit of never giving up.

Plasterer Michael Edwards was reborn as Eddie the Eagle after becoming the first competitor since 1928 to represent Great Britain in Olympic ski jumping,

He finished last in the Normal Hill and Large Hill events at the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary – but his determination and sense of fun charmed the world.

Eddie's story even inspired Dexter Fletcher's highest grossing British film of 2016.

He said: It feels very strange but it’s nice that people still remember me fondly. The film helps of course. It brought my story to a much younger audience."

Eddie has had a long time to reflect on that incredible moment – so why does he think it struck such a chord across the world?

The 57-year-old added: "I think it’s because it was such an unusual thing to do – and a seemingly very difficult and dangerous too. So it really caught people’s imaginations.

"I was hoping to get a bit of attention when I went to Calgary from the UK because I was Britain’s first jumper. But I didn’t know I’d get the nickname Eddie the Eagle and that it would blow up as much as it did.

"I would have loved to carry on. I was hoping to use that attention and get sponsorship and carry on jumping for the next 20 years.

"But unfortunately because I became so popular to the extent I got more attention than the guy who won the event, the International Olympic Committee didn’t like the idea so they imposed all these rules and regulations that effectively kicked me out.

"It wasn’t to be unfortunately but it was nice what I did. I enjoyed it."

We got the chance to speak to Eddie because he will be talking about his life for Lymm Festival's 'Winter Warmers' on October 14.

But he said his audiences do not have to know anything about skiing – it will just be tales from his unusual life in the hope that others might be inspired to take on the seemingly insurmountable.

Eddie, known at the time for his pink-and-white-rimmed glasses, said: "I don’t talk much about my skiing exploits to be honest

"I talk about Calgary and I talk about the film but I don’t drone on about skiing, as much as I love it. I talk about the unusual situations in which I’ve found myself and try and keep my talks as entertaining as possible.

"There are people who come who don’t like sport that much and have probably never skied so I try and cater for everybody."

Eddie's tastes for slopes were there even when he was a toddler.

He would terrify his parents by sliding down the stairs and then at school he was known as a bit of a daredevil.

Eddie added: "They used to dare me to do things and that suited me really well when I started skiing.

"It was a very individualistic sport. I could be as good as I wanted to be. It was totally up to me and with my daredevil spirit I could go as fast as I wanted, I could do jumps. It suited my temperament."

A school trip when he was 13 was Eddie's first experience of the slopes and he said he fell in love with skiing more or less straight away.

He said: "It was as soon as I put the skis on really and I was very lucky to have one of the biggest dry ski slopes in the country about 10 miles from my house.

"That became my home and I was up there every night after school, all weekend, all school holidays. Skiing was a huge part of my life when I was a teenager."

And fear was never a factor.

"If anything the teachers had to hold me back," he added.

"With a lot of things, it was just about being confident enough to have a go. It’s amazing how quickly you realise things aren’t quite as scary as you first thought they were. I wanted to be better than my school friends so that helped as well!"

The Olympic dream popped in Eddie's head not long after that.

Eddie said: "It was about a year later that I started doing racing and was winning competitions. From about the age of 14, the Olympics was my aim.

"I was doing competitions at least 18 months before Calgary so what made it easier was I was used to the media attention.

"At first it was the British press, then the European press and by the time I went to Calgary it was the world’s press. Of course, being christened Eddie the Eagle was a huge bonus.

"I just went with it really. I was always laughing and joking and having fun. I think people loved the fact I was out there doing the best I could and having fun too.

"Sport is entertainment really. It doesn’t really matter if you’re number one in the world or 10,000th. I wasn’t going to set the world alight by being the best jumper in the world so I decided to be the funniest jumper in the world."

From Winter Wipeout to The Masked Dancer, Eddie's exploits have opened many doors and he told us winning the first series of the celebrity diving show Splash was the impetus for the film about his life – starring Taron Egerton – being made.

He added: "They did such a good job with the film. They really captured the heart and spirit and essence of my story. They showed, for me, getting to those Olympic Games was my gold medal through resilience and tenacity.

"With never giving up approach you can achieve anything so it’s great that kids can watch the film and be inspired by it really.

An Evening with Eddie The Eagle is at Lymm High School on Thursday, October 14. Visit