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Olympic torch: Sir Bobby Charlton carries flame

Category: England

Published: 24th Jun 2012 06:41:43

Football legend Sir Bobby Charlton carried the Olympic torch past Manchester United's Old Trafford stadium on day 37 of the relay.

Sunday's route from Salford to Leeds will see 151 people carry the torch 121 miles, ending the day at Temple Newsam.

The torch will make its way through towns which were once intrinsic to the cotton industry, before crossing the Pennines into West Yorkshire.

BMX world champion winner Shanaze Reade was the day's first torchbearer.

The 24-year-old, from Cheshire, has won six world titles across BMX and track cycling and competed at her first Olympics in Beijing.

She will start at Salford's Media City, home to the BBC's offices.

Sir Bobby, who was voted the fourth-best Manchester United footballer of all time, carried the flame up Sir Matt Busby Way to the front of Old Trafford in the rain in front of a packed crowd.

He stopped for a photo opportunity in front of the iconic Trinity statue, which depicts United's "Holy Trinity" of himself, George Best and Denis Law.

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The 1966 World Cup winner and Manchester United hero, now aged 74, finished at Old Trafford, where he handed the flame to fellow torchbearer Heather Davidson.

On Sunday, the relay will travel through Salford, Trafford, Moss Side, Rusholme, Longsight, Levenshulme, Stockport, Ashton-under-Lyne, Oldham, Marsh, Huddersfield, Brighouse, Halifax, Bradford, Keighley, Skipton, Ilkley, Headingley, Potternewton, Harehills, Richmond Hill and Leeds.

The oldest torchbearer carrying the flame on Sunday is 94-year-old Thora Beddard.

She has written 6,000 poems, learnt to swim at 50, discovered yoga at 60 and took up abseiling and lingerie modelling at 70.

In her 80s she passed her English GCSE and carried the Commonwealth baton in Manchester in 2002.

She has eight grandchildren, 23 great-grandchildren and eight great-great-grandchildren.

Her nomination said her life represented an "ideal example of magnificence, fighting spirit, determination and success to every one of us."

Charity worker and fundraiser Matthew Norton is due to carry the torch through Halifax.

The 31-year-old from Holmfirth has spent the last four years working with the Maasai Heritage Preservation Foundation in Africa, a charity he founded in the UK in 2009.

Described as a "true inspiration to his colleagues and community," he has helped to develop schools in Tanzania and Kenya caring for over 500 children and had helped to raise over £100,000 for the project.

Other torchbearers include Moira Kelly, who has worked with Aboriginal children in Western Australia and at 22 worked alongside Mother Theresa in Calcutta.

Satpal Singh Digwa, from Manchester, will carry the Flame in Rusholme. The 65-year-old was the first Sikh girl to live in England, according to her nomination.

On Saturday, the torch was carried into Manchester by Britain's most successful Olympic cyclist Sir Chris Hoy and in Preston by former 800m champion Diane Modahl, who won at the 1990 Commonwealth Games and competed in four Olympic Games.

A total of 8,000 people will carry the flame during its 8,000 mile, 70-day journey to the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games in London on 27 July.

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BBC News, 2012. Olympic torch: Sir Bobby Charlton carries flame [Online] (Updated 24th Jun 2012)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/1436542/Olympic-torch-Sir-Bobby-Charlton-carries-flame [Accessed 23rd Apr 2014]

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