Olympic flame to burn in St Helens

London 2012 chairman Lord Coe holds aloft the Olympic Flame, the new golden torch which will be carried by the 8,000 runners on the London 2012 torch relay. At St Pancras Station in London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday June 8, 2011. See PA story OLYMPICS Torch. Photo credit should read: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire
London 2012 chairman Lord Coe holds aloft the Olympic Flame, the new golden torch which will be carried by the 8,000 runners on the London 2012 torch relay. At St Pancras Station in London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday June 8, 2011. See PA story OLYMPICS Torch. Photo credit should read: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

ST Helens has been named as one of the towns planned to host the Olympic torch route in the run-up the 2012 London games.

It will arrive in the borough on June 1 on its way from Bolton to Liverpool.

Residents from across the borough have been invited to vote on who they think should carry the torch as it makes its way through St Helens.

Early favourite include charity fund-raiser and former Saints star Steve Prescott, although the confirmed list will only be revealed nearer the time.

Council leader Marie Rimmer said she was delighted that the torch was coming to the borough.

She added: “This is a great honour for our borough. We have already had a visit from the Olympic mascot.

“The torch relay will bring the spirit of London 2012 to Merseyside and give everybody a taste of the excitement of the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

“I also hope it will inspire a new generation of people, and particularly young people, to take up sport.”

Across the UK 8,000 have been recruited for the 70 day relay – each covering a 300 metre section. Around 95 per cent of the UK population will be within an hour’s journey of the torch’s route.

And in line with the bid promise to inspire and connect a new generation to the Olympic movement, more than half of the torchbearers are young people – nominated for the honour by friends, relatives or people from their local communities.

Deputy council leader Barrie Grunewald added: “This has been a great opportunity to recognise the unsung heroes in our community by nominating them to carry the torch and experience first-hand this historic and exciting occasion.

“The Olympic Games is an event that reaches out and touches everyone. You can sense the electricity even while watching on television and we are committed to maximising every opportunity that London 2012 presents.”