THE wait was finally over as the Olympic torch made its way through the streets of Wetherby in a once in a lifetime event for the town.
Thousands of families, residents, shoppers and schoolchildren lined Wetherby’s busiest streets to welcome the iconic flame.
On day 32 of the torch route, crowds cheered and waved flags as five torchbearers carried the torch on foot in an action-packed day for Wetherby.
Wetherby boy George Stocker, a brain tumour survivor, carried the iconic torch passed hordes of cheering supporters on North Street and declared the moment “the best day of his life.”
After his run, 13-year-old George said: “I expected there to be quite a few people out but not nearly that amount.
“It was just amazing because they had all read my story and had come to watch me.”
George, who was diagnosed with a brain tumour in 2008 and is a pupil at Queen Ethelburga’s School, has since raised more than £50,000 for cancer charity Candlelighters.
His dad, Roger Stocker, told the News before his run that George took the role of torchbearer in his stride.
He said: “It meant absolutely everything to see his face beforehand with a big smile.”
“I don’t think the enormity of what was happening hit him until then, but he wasn’t nervous and took it in his stride.”
George was joined by four other torchbearers in Wetherby including Alan Hinkes, 58, a British mountaineer who has climbed the world’s highest mountains and raised thousands of pounds for charity.
Other Wetherby torchbearers included Ercan Tutal, 51 of Istanbul, John Bretherick. 45, of Ilkley and Tockwith resident Sue Corbett, who was nominated to carry the torch for her community volunteering efforts.
Wetherby’s new mayor, Alan Lamb, said he was delighted with the amount of people who came to see the torch.
He said: “It was absolutely fantastic. What a wonderful Wetherby welcome we gave them and to see so many people, around 10,000, was just phenomenal.”
Around 2,000 schoolchildren from Wetherby were allowed to watch the event - with many hosting a day-long Olympic - themed range of activities.
The torch was carried from Privas Way onto York Road, North Street, Boston Road and Wetherby Road before going on to Harewood House for a lunchtime event.