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35,000 cheer Olympic torch through Warrington
1:55pm Thursday 31st May 2012 in London Olympics 2012 - Latest News
THIRTY five thousand people packed the town centre streets to see the London 2012 Olympic torch make its way through Warrington.
The torch arrived at around 1.24pm - running around 25 minutes late with Sue Stout taking up the first leg along Liverpool Road.
Brazilian basketball star Oscar Schmidt took up the flame outside the Town Hall and played up to the crowds of school children who were there to take part in Olympic style events.
The 6ft 8in former basketball player held the torch high into the air as office workers hung out of windows to see the torch make its way down Sankey Street.
He said: “I loved it here. The streets were packed and there were a lot of children.
“I loved seeing their faces. Everyone could see it was something special.
“It is difficult to compare to playing but you could definitely enjoy it more and take it in.”
Oscar passed on the flame to John Paul Smith at the top of Bridge Street by the Guardian statues and the Olympic flame was serenaded by Warrington Male Voice Choir.
Stev Deakin was the next torch bearer to carry the flame down the streets of Warrington.
Seventeen-year-old Jason El-kaleh then took part in the famous 'kiss' procedure where the flame passes from one torch to the next to continue on the route towards The Halliwell Jones Stadium.
Representing the children of St Peter's Catholic Primary School in Woolston, head teacher Helen Lea was the next person to carry the flame.
Ben Cowgill was the next in line as the Olympic flame headed down Winwick Road to carry the flame and he was supported on the way by using a crutch to help him.
Next up was Alex Bown who was cheered on by school children from across the town who had lined the route.
And from their Brian Norris was given the task of taking it on towards Orford Jubilee Park.
Now the torch has arrived for a lunch time stop at Orford Jubilee Park, the town's Olympic legacy, with 12-year-old Emily Woodward the final torch bearer taking it to the £30million development which was opened by the Queen two weeks ago today.
Council leader Clr Terry O'Neill (LAB - Burtonwood and Winwick) said: "The day will live long in the memory and will leave a real Olympic legacy at Orford Jubilee Park."