Olympic torchbearer Gary Lineker cheered by fans

Wednesday July 4, 2012

TV presenter and former soccer star Gary Lineker has carried the Olympic Torch in his home city, cheered on by fans wearing his former football club's shirt.

Many Leicester City fans had got up early to catch a glimpse of their hero, who played for the club between 1978 and 1985, carrying the flame as it continues its journey through the country.

Speaking ahead of carrying the torch down Abbey Park Road in the city on day 46 of the route, the 51-year-old said: "I'm very excited. It's a huge honour to be part of the torch parade and walking round I can manage just about a few hundred yards nowadays so it should be good. It's an amazing turnout for so early in the morning."

Gary, who only arrived back from covering the Euro 2012 championship in the Ukraine on Monday night, said: "I've not had much sleep but who cares? I'm looking forward to it. I just hope I don't drop it or do anything silly or singe my ears."

After successfully handing the torch to the sixth torchbearer of the day, 30-year-old Matthew Gopsill, also from Leicester, Gary said: "I didn't drop it. I managed to survive all the way and I'm only marginally out of breath so I'm happy. It was a brilliant experience. It's a great honour and good to be back in Leicester to a nice warm reception."

He said he hoped Mr Gopsill, a disabled student from the city's De Montfort University, enjoyed his few hundred yards as much as he did.

The torch began Day 46 of its 70-day journey by being carried into the air by Jet Pack Man - stuntman Nick Macomber - at the Leicester's National Space Centre.

Mr Macomber, wearing a jet pack, lifted the torch into the air before coming back down to the ground and handing it over to the day's first torchbearer, Kevin Davies.

The flame left the city by train, travelling to Quorn on the Great Central Railway. From there it headed for Loughborough where it visited the Team GB Preparation Camp at Loughborough University.

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