Olympic torch: Sir Bobby Charlton carries flame
- 24 June 2012
- From the section UK
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 had 151 people carrying the torch 121 miles, ending the day at Temple Newsam.
The torch made its way through towns which were once intrinsic to the cotton industry, before crossing the Pennines into West Yorkshire.
BMX world champion 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 started at Salford's Media City, home to the BBC's new offices.
Sir Bobby, who was voted the fourth-best Manchester United footballer of all time, then 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 to speak to fans in front of the iconic Trinity statue, which depicts United's "Holy Trinity" of himself, George Best and Denis Law.
Sir Bobby said he was overwhelmed by the amount of fans who had turned out to see him at about 06:00 BST.
"This time in the morning. It's staggering isn't it? But they like to be part of it and it's just a happy time," he said.
"I'm so proud and so pleased. It's something that we worked for and it's culminated in a fantastic time."
Charlton, who won football's World Cup on home soil in 1966, said he "never dreamed" that the Olympics would come to Great Britain.
"We were so pleased when it happened. It's just been terrific," he added.
The England 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 travelled through Salford and into the Trafford, Moss Side, Rusholme, Longsight and Levenshulme areas of Manchester.
It then took in Stockport, Ashton-under-Lyne, Oldham, Marsh, Huddersfield, Brighouse, Halifax, Bradford, Keighley, Skipton and Ilkley before moving to the districts of Headingley, Potternewton, Harehills and Richmond Hill in Leeds.
The oldest torchbearer carrying the flame was 94-year-old Thora Beddard . She carried the flame in Oldham.
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 carried 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, which has built schools in Kenya and Tanzania.
Other torchbearers included 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, carried the flame in Rusholme. The 65-year-old was the first Sikh girl to live in England, according to her nomination.
Simon Buckden , a soldier who served in Bosnia and the Gulf War, carried the Olympic flame in Leeds, and then got down on one knee to propose to his own flame, his girlfriend. It was the torch relay's second proposal .
Colin Moynihan, chairman of the British Olympic Association, who has helped to deliver the Games to London, also completed a relay leg in Leeds.
There was also a moment of drama in the city when the torch security team moved swiftly to intercept a member of the crowd who tried to throw a bucket of water over the torch relay.
The torch relay resumes on Monday when it travels from Leeds to Sheffield.
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.