Shot Pc's daughter carries torch
The late hero Pc David Rathband would have been "very proud" for his daughter to carry the Olympic Torch on Saturday, his widow has said.
The blinded traffic officer, who had been shot by gunman Raoul Moat, was selected to run a leg with the flame but was found hanged at his home in Blyth, Northumberland, in February. His daughter Mia, who wore a blindfold, was handed the flame in Whitburn, South Tyneside, on the Gateshead to Durham leg of its tour around Britain.
The 43-year-old officer's widow Kath said: "It means so much to Mia and the family that she's been given this opportunity to carry the Olympic Torch in her dad's place. It was a great honour for David to be nominated as a torch bearer by so many people and to be selected. I know he would be very proud to see his Mia carry the torch on his behalf this Saturday."
After TV adventurer Bear Grylls's spectacular zip slide with the torch off the Tyne Bridge on Friday night, Richard Jackson kicked off the day by abseiling with it down the stunning Sage Music Centre in Gateshead on Saturday morning.
It was carried to South Shields where 10,000m double Olympic gold winner Haile Gebrselassie handed it to Great North Run founder and Olympic bronze winner Brendan Foster took over.
He carried the flame to the spot where the famous run - the world's second biggest half marathon - ends on the seafront.