FORMER mayor Maurice Oram said it was thrilling to see Marlovian Sir Steve Redgrave carry the torch into the Olympic Stadium last night.

Sir Steve, who was a favourite to light the cauldron, received the flame from David Beckham before being greeted by seven young athletes nominated by himself and other British Olympic heroes.

It was the young athletes who each lit one of the copper petals which had been brought into the stadium with the teams and then rose to form the cauldron.

Maurice Oram, who was dubbed ‘Mr Marlow’ during a 40-year career as a councillor, said today: “It was really exciting and quite right that Steve was asked to carry it in.

“To see him running with it all on his own was really moving. And I thought it was really nice that it was then passed on to seven young athletes because the theme was all about inspiring others.

“I stayed up to watch the whole thing and it was really brilliant and very moving. The whole of Marlow would have been proud of him just like we always have been.”

Sir Steve, who lives in Marlow Bottom, told BBC Breakfast today: "It was very special. I must admit I probably knew about ten days before. I'm looking forward now to not being asked questions such as 'Are you lighting the torch, or the cauldron?'

"I suppose the questions now will be 'Are you putting out the cauldron?' - I've not had that phone call yet."

The five-times Olympic rowing champion said when he entered the stadium there was an "absolutely amazing atmosphere", adding: "There was a line-up of construction workers on the site, suited and booted, it was very emotional for them and for me."

On Thursday, Prestwood pensioner Florence Rowe carried the torch in Downing Street, watched by David Cameron and wife Samantha.

Ms Rowe, 81, who is a Wycombe Wanderers ‘fanatic’, was also part of the crowds in London to welcome the Olympics in 1948, when she was aged 18.