Didier Drogba mobbed by fans as he carries Olympic torch through Swindon

 

Chelsea star Didier Drogba was mobbed by thousands of screaming fans today as he carried the Olympic flame through Swindon.

Drogba, who announced yesterday he was quitting Chelsea, waved at supporters as he jogged through the town centre with his torch.

Many of those who had turned out to see their footballing hero were wearing Chelsea shirts.

The Ivory Coast striker, who scored the equaliser and then the winning penalty in Saturday's dramatic Champions League final win over Bayern Munich, said yesterday he is leaving the club to pursue his career elsewhere.

He departs Stamford Bridge with his reputation as one of the club's greatest players firmly intact, but he knows it could have been so much different.

Ever since the 34-year-old joined the club from Marseille in 2004 they have been chasing the European Cup and, after so many near misses, Drogba's final kick for them earned them the prize they coveted.

Had he not have scored and had Bayern gone on to win, he admits he may have been tempted to stay but, with all his loose ends tied up, he is moving on to a new chapter.

Speaking to Radio 5 Live, he said: "I think winning the game was the key. Not me scoring the penalty.

"Winning the game was the turning point, that's why I have decided to say goodbye.

"We made the story together and I want people to remember that. This is the best time to move on.

"Yes, there's a chance that if the result was different, maybe I would be here.

"We were talking for many weeks, but the turning point was based on the fact I won everything I could and scored in most of the finals we have played, trying to make a difference.

"I hope everyone will understand. Everything I did was for the fans and I hope they understand."

PA

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