Footballer and flame: Didier Drogba with the torch as he carries it through SwindonThousands of screaming fans mobbed Chelsea star Didier Drogba as he carried the Olympic flame through Swindon this afternoon.
The footballer waved at supporters as he jogged through the town centre with the torch and many of those who turned out to see him were wearing Chelsea shirts.
Drogba emerged from the pedestrianised Market Street where fans had gathered to catch a glimpse of the star.
The footballer, who was the 84th torchbearer of the day, ran down Commercial Road in Swindon’s bustling shopping district.
Mobbed: Many turned out to see the footballer who, yesterday, announced he would be leaving ChelseaThe road was turned into a sea of blue, red and white from the hundreds of Union flags, balloons and football shirts.
Drogba was flanked by police and security as he handed over the flame to Stephen Ratcliffe, chairman of Newlands Park, a community multi-sport venue owned by Cheltenham Rugby Club.
As the two torches touched, spectators ran towards Drogba to get a photo of the footballer. He was then quickly whisked through the crowd into a silver car and driven away.
While the footballer was whisked away, there was drama shortly after he had passed the torch on when a 16-year-old youth attempted to grab the flame as it passed.
Drama: This is the moment an unidentified youth attempted to attack the Olympic Flame as it passed through Swindon. The man was bundled into the crowd and detained by officers, before being given ‘a word of advice’
The teenager was rugby-tackled by a security guard after getting within 2ft of the torch as it made its way down Great Western Way in the town.
The youth was then bundled into the crowd before he was chased down the street and detained by officers at the scene.
A spokesman for the force revealed he was not arrested – but taken home to his parents and given a word of advice.
Eyewitness Shauni Iles, 20, who was watching the relay with sister Maddie, six, looked on in horror as the Olympic flame was almost seized by the rampaging yob.
The sociology student, from Swindon, said: ‘The guy came from the left of me and ran out into the road – he got about two-feet from the torch.
Moment to shine: John Shaw carries the Olympic flame on the leg between Bristol and Nailsea