Olympic torch carried by Afghanistan war veteran
- 30 May 2012
- From the section UK
Injured Afghanistan war veteran Ricky Furgusson carried the Olympic flame through Broseley on day 12 of the torch relay from Chester to Stoke-on-Trent.
The Telford-born 26-year-old lost both his legs, left eye and fingers from both hands when he was injured on active service.
He received huge support from the crowd, which included members of the 4th battalion, the Rifles.
The soldiers nodded their heads and saluted him as a mark of respect.
Furgusson told the BBC News Channel: "You've got two choices in life, sit and do nothing and get depressed or put your legs on and live your life exactly as you did before and that's exactly what I do.
"This is a once in a lifetime chance. I knew it was going to be busy but it was absolutely mental. It was a big steep hill pushing up here but I was determined to get to the top and I did."
Commenting on his own charity work with others, he said: "That's why I won a Military Cross in Afghanistan as I treated blokes when they got injured. People say I'm a national hero but as far as I'm concerned I've done my job.
"I just hope people understand that life is never over if you've been injured. We don't let it stop us. Never say never, just because you're injured your life shouldn't be different."
Before that, in the last stop before lunch, the torch arrived in Much Wenlock - the home of the Wenlock Olympian Games , which was a forerunner to the modern Olympics.
The Games were founded in 1850 by Dr William Penny Brookes, who lived in the Shropshire town of Much Wenlock. He invited Baron Pierre de Coubertin to visit the Wenlock Games in 1890. Four years later, the baron founded the International Olympic Congress and in 1896, the first summer Olympics took place in Athens.
One of the London 2012 official mascots is named Wenlock in recognition of its historic significance and the Olympic flame received a rapturous welcome as it was carried into Much Wenlock shortly after 13:00 BST.
People stood on rubbish bins and leaned out of the windows at the Victorian and Georgian houses overlooking the street as the torch approached the house of Dr Penny Brookes.
Among the torchbearers in Much Wenlock were Olympic bronze medal-winning archer Alison Williamson, who is set to compete for Team GB for the sixth time later this summer and 83-year-old Ron Miles , who was born and bred in the county, served in the army and later became one of the first volunteer helpers at the Ironbridge Gorge museum near Telford, one of the later points along the route
Later in the day the torch visited Ironbridge Gorge and travelled across the 230-year-old bridge the area is named after, greeted by a special peel of bells from nearby St Luke's church. The flame was carried by Lydon Flavell, 37, from Wolverhampton in front of a huge crowd.
There were also impressive turnouts on the rest of the route which among other places visited Telford and Stafford before the relay ended in Stoke-on-Trent with 1988 GB hockey gold medallist Imran Sherwani carrying the flame into the evening celebration at Hanley Park and lighting the cauldron.
Sherwani, one of only two Olympic gold medallists from Stoke, scored twice in a 3-1 victory over Germany in the final in Seoul.
The day began in Chester with the first torchbearer, 16-year-old badminton prospect Jenny Moore, who set off at 06:56. The torch then headed back into Wales, where John Atkinson of the British Olympic Association carried the flame in Wrexham.
Later, 82-year-old Ronald Price, from Llandrillo, who still visits a gym every week and delivers Meals on Wheels to the elderly, took the flame to the town's Guildhall. Reflecting on the honour, Mr Price quipped that he "felt 20 again".
Hundreds of people had gathered at Llwyn Isaf, the open space next to the Guildhall, to see the torch arrive. The torch then visited Pontcysyllte Aqueduct and was placed on a boat for a trip along the Llangollen Canal.
The relay travelled through border towns including Oswestry and Welshpool before turning east towards Shrewsbury, where Shropshire Council tweeted that "an incredible 40,000 people" were estimated to have cheered on the torch.