Gallery: Torch relay one of the biggest events ever in Haverhill

THE Olympic torch relay in Haverhill is believed to be one of the biggest events the town has ever seen.

Former Haverhill Mayor Maureen Byrne said she would not be surprised if more than 25,000 people had turned out for the occasion.

Mrs Byrne, who is a town and borough councillor, described it as “fantastic”.

She said: “It was absolutely tremendous and the most important thing: it never rained. I think there weren’t many people left at home.

“The streets were about six deep on all of the streets and everyone had a fantastic time. I was surprised there was such support.”

The crowds waved flags and banged tambourines as the torch was carried from its start in Burton End to its finish in Wratting Road.

Torchbearer Ryan Tutthill, 15, from Elmswell and who attends King Edward VI School in Bury St Edmunds, had the first leg.

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Ryan, who has a speech and language disorder and autistic tendencies, said: “I was excited and to see how many people were there, that was the shocking part.”

The youngster was nominated to be an Olympic torchbearer by his father Ian as, despite his difficulties, he has proved to be very able, achieving beyond expectation in many areas.

Sleepy George Gooderham was among those lining the route but slept most of the way through, his dad Dave believes he was dreaming of being a future Olympian

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