UK

Olympic torch: Prince Charles visits relay in Tottenham

  • 25 July 2012
  • From the section UK

Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall visited the torch relay in Tottenham where they watched a torch kiss from the side of the street.

They also posed for pictures with torchbearers Scott Moorhouse and Jay Kamiraz, whose Souls of Prophecy choir is a favourite of the prince.

England's World Cup-winning goalkeeper Gordon Banks started the day's relay, carrying the flame at Wembley Stadium.

Decathlete Daley Thompson ran the last leg of the relay at Alexandra Palace.

Thompson, who won decathlon gold at the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles, lit a cauldron on stage in the climax to Wednesday's 30-mile journey.

A total of 153 torchbearers carried the flame as it travelled 30 miles through the London boroughs of Harrow, Brent, Barnet, Enfield and Haringey.

It was in the last of the boroughs, at 1726 BST, that Prince Charles and Camilla appeared on the side of the road as Mr Kamiraz came to the end of his run and passed on the flame.

The royal couple then stood either side of the torchbearers while photographs were taken before Mr Moorhouse, an amputee who lost his left leg at the knee after an accident when he was six weeks old, began his stint with the flame.

Badminton medallists

The first torchbearer of the day was Jo Hyams, 29, who took the flame across the bridge and moat at Headstone Manor, a grade I-listed building, reputed to be the oldest surviving timber-framed construction in Middlesex.

Ms Hyams, who lives in Harrow, was nominated for her charity work in the area.

Later as the flame neared Wembley Stadium, Timothy McKenzie, better known as singer songwriter Labrinth, ran with the flame.

Singer Beverley Knight was also a torchbearer in Brent.

Outside the stadium, Inderjit Bhalla - who won gold in badminton at the British Transplant Games - passed the flame to former badminton player Nathan Robertson, who won silver at the 2004 Athens Olympics with former mixed-doubles partner Gail Emms.

Robertson missed out on qualifying for London 2012 and has since announced his retirement from the sport.

England's greatest goalkeeper, Banks, then ensured the torch was in safe hands as he carried it along Olympic Way outside the new stadium.

Now 75, he was part of England's famous team that won the World Cup in 1966 at the original stadium, and he also played in the 1970 World Cup in Mexico, when England reached the quarter-finals.

He said his stint with the torch was "absolutely fantastic".

He added it was "a great honour to have been here and held the torch with a light on it that goes back so many, many, many years".

Banks also paid tribute to his former team-mates, the late Alan Ball and Bobby Moore.

The flame was carried to the lunch break by 100-year-old Diana Gould, the oldest female torchbearer of London 2012. She still runs exercise classes at the retirement flats where she lives in north-west London.

Harry Potter actor Rupert Grint, 23, was the first to carry the flame after lunch.

"It's something I'm finding hard to put into words - an overwhelming blur of an experience [that] I'm going to remember for ever," he said.

The actor, who plays Ron Weasley in the films, handed over to Harriet Cooper, who at 15 is considered an outstanding swimming prospect, having won gold at the 100m backstroke in the 2011 European Youth Olympic Festival in Turkey.

Palace finale

Still on the swimming theme, among the other torchbearers was Tony Tancock, father of British Olympic hopeful Liam, who will be competing in the 100m backstroke.

Thompson lit the cauldron at the evening celebration at Alexandra Palace

Boxer James Degale, who won a middleweight gold medal at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, soldier Jack Otter, who lost both legs and an arm in an explosion in Afghanistan, and Lloyd Scott, from Essex, who survived leukaemia, were among the other torchbearers.

Mr Otter in particular drew huge cheers from the crowd as he twice got up from his wheelchair to walk unaided during the first and last parts of his stint.

The relay finished at Alexandra Palace, where 68-year-old Frank Adams passed the flame to Thompson, who was the first decathlete to hold the World, Olympic, Commonwealth and European titles simultaneously.

Thompson, who trained at nearby Haringey Athletics Club, looked thrilled when he did the honours at "Ally Pally", formerly the BBC's headquarters and still a major events venue.

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.