THE first people to carry the Olympic torch in South Yorkshire said they would ‘never forget’ the emotional experience of a lifetime.
Legendary athlete Dorothy Hyman was one of the first to bear the flame, running through Lundwood where the crowds were 10 deep.
Afterwards, the 100m silver medallist at the 1960 Olympic Games in Rome, Italy, told The Star: “It was amazing. It brought back memories of 1960 when I came from Rome and the crowds cheered in Cudworth.
VIDEO: Watch our videio report from Lundwood - including a chat with Dorothy Hyman and Dave Allemby.
“It was lovely to wave to people I knew who I haven’t seen for years.
“The torch relay is just gathering enthusiasm as it goes on.
“It really is catching everybody’s imagination.”
Marathon runner Dave Allemby, who was the first person to hold the flame in South Yorkshire, said it had been a ‘privilege’.
He said: “As an experience it was unbelievable.
“It is the best thing I have ever done, including the London marathon. It’s something I will never forget.
“My arms ache, not from holding the torch but from waving and smiling so much.”
Flag-waving crowds had waited for more than an hour in Barnsley town centre to see the flame on its historic journey.
They crowded pavements, climbed on walls and even stepladders to see.
Dad Steve Stead ran through the town centre after been nominating for his charity marathons and through work at Dransfield Properties.
The 33-year-old, of Penistone, said: ‘Today has been awesome from start to finish.
“My three young kids were watching and it was just an emotional feeling,” he said.
“There were so many people I struggled to pick out faces.
“My mum was at the end and she was in tears.”
n Don’t miss The Star tomorrow for 13 pages of Olympic Torch relay coverage - and join in on Twitter with your thoughts and pictures using the hashtags #barnstorch #shefftorch #rothtorch and #doncastertorch