12:09 04 July 2012
Sir Cliff Richard carried the Olympic Torch through Birmingham streets on Saturday evening. The 71-year-old singer running and dancing to his own songs while doing so, and showed that his age clearly did not hinder him from being the energetic ambassador of the Games.
The crowd cheered him on with shouts of “C’mon Cliff”, while the spectators marveled at his unflinching energy. One of them even remarked how Cliff “wasn’t even short of breath.”
Sir Cliff is now the second pop star to carry the Torch as it traveled through the West Midlands on its way to London. Aside from him, boyband The Wanted also had the same privilege.
Aside from them, paralysed rugby player Ben Smoldon carried the Torch through Smethwick; he was nominated by the Sutton Coldfield Rugby Club. Smoldon, who was left paralysed by a broken neck in a collapsed scrum while he was 17 years old, was now quadriplegic and needed round-the-clock care. He has been an active ambassador and supporter of sports clubs and local charities for ruby and disabilities since.
Prior to its arrival in Smethwick, the Torch made its way from Derby through Burton upon Trent, Streethay, Lichfield, Hopwas, Tamworth, Wyrley, Newtown, Bloxwich, Leamore, Birchills, Walsall, Willenhall, Wolverhamptom, Dudley, Oldbury, and West Bromwich.
In Armed Forces Day, the Torch was carried symbolically up the steps of the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire by Victoria Cross holder Johnson Beharry. He was cheered by thousands of war veterans and military personnel.
On Sunday, the Torch will leave Birmingham and make its way to Solihull.
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