When James Duff, 35, from Seafield, near Bathgate, West Lothian, was born, his mother was told he would never walk because of the condition that left his feet twisted. If untreated, the child is forced to walk on the top of his or her feet, instead of the soles.
He did start walking, but only a couple of months before starting school at the age of four.
A series of operations followed, starting in primary school, and they continued until Mr Duff was 20.
"I had crutches for ages," he said. "When I had my first communion, I was on crutches, and my confirmation too.
"It was supposed to be impossible for me to do PE, but I took part anyway, against the advice of my mother and the teachers, because I just wanted to be the same as everyone else. I could play football but was never allowed to join the school team."
The treatment he received from surgeon BD Sharma made "a huge, huge difference", finally allowing Mr Duff to walk unaided. He said: "Now I don't have any difficulty with my feet and if I do, I ignore it.
"When my son came along, I was able to go into the garden and play football with him."
After being asked to carry the Olympic torch through Cairneyhill in Fife, Mr Duff, who works in event security, decided to invite along the man who had made such a difference to his life. He wrote to Wishaw General Hospital, where staff forwarded his letter to the surgeon, who had retired in 2001.
Duff said: "It means everything to have him there. If it was not for him, I wouldn't have the life I have."
Mr Sharma was delighted to receive the letter. He said: "It's very kind of James to remember me. I'm really pleasantly surprised. It will be a thrill to watch him. I'm now 75 and it gives me a complete sense of satisfaction when people come to me and say 'do you remember me?' That is the greatest thing, when people come and thank you and you see them doing so well."
The aim with treatment of club foot, said Mr Sharma, was to start at birth and try to ensure the child's feet looked and felt aligned by the time they reached walking age. He said he had always felt Mr Duff's treatment had been less than successful and so was delighted to learn that he was able to walk so well.
Mr Duff, who has a daughter, Jade, 16, and a son, Declan, 15, was put forward as an Olympic torchbearer by residents of Seafield, where he is heavily involved in the community. His many roles include running a food co-operative each week selling locally produced fruit and vegetables, being chairman of the community council, vice-chairman of the management committee of Seafield Community Centre and a guide dog puppy walker.
l Motorists are being asked to be patient when the Forth Road Bridge is closed tomorrow for five minutes at around 4.20pm to allow the Olympic Torch to cross from Fife into Lothian.