'Magic' moment for Sir Bobby Charlton as he carries Olympic flame in Manchester

 

Hundreds of people got up early and braved the rain to watch a football legend carry the Olympic flame in Manchester.

Sir Bobby Charlton carried the Olympic flame today as it passed Manchester United's Old Trafford stadium at 6.30am.

The 1966 World Cup winner and Manchester United hero, 74, was one of 151 torchbearers who will carry the torch today as it makes its way from Manchester to Leeds.

Sir Bobby carried the flame from Water's Reach to Old Trafford stadium, which is an Olympic Football venue.

He stopped to speak to cheering fans in front of the iconic Trinity statue, which depicts United's 'Holy Trinity' of himself, George Best and Denis Law.

Sir Bobby said: "This is magic."

"This is a great place and the fans have been great."

He said he was overwhelmed by the amount of fans who had shown up to see him.

"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.

"I'm so proud and so pleased. It's something that we worked for and it's culminated in a fantastic time."

He said he "never dreamed" that the Olympics would actually come to Great Britain.

"We were so pleased when it happened. It's has just been terrific," he added.

Sir Bobby handed the flame to Heather Davidson, 23, from Manchester.

Heather was nominated for her courage in her overcoming her Cerebral Palsy and various other medical conditions to campaign on behalf part of young people.

Today the relay will travel 121.35 miles culminating in an evening celebration at Temple Newsam, Leeds.

The Olympic flame arrived in Britain from Greece on May 18 and the relay began at Land's End, Cornwall, the next day.

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 July 27.

PA

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