“YOU have earned it.”
Those were the words of Prime Minister David Cameron as he praised cancer campaigner and Olympic torchbearer Clive Stone.
Hundreds of people watched and cheered as Mr Stone ran through Woodstock’s streets carrying the flame.
Mr Stone, who fought to get life-saving cancer drug Sutent on the NHS, said: “It was great. Very exhilarating.”
Mr Cameron, who is also MP for Witney, nominated Mr Stone for the honour of carrying the torch.
As Mr Stone passed the torch on in Woodstock’s Market Square, Mr Cameron told him: “You earned it. You deserve this.”
Mr Cameron told the Oxford Mail: “The Olympic torch coming through the heart of the community is so exciting and there is a huge turnout.”
Meanwhile Simon Cruden enjoyed every step as he carried the Olympic Torch through Bicester and summed it up in three words: “It was awesome.”
The atmosphere was electric as crowds of up to eight people deep cheered and waved their Union flags to salute the five runners in the town.
Torch bearers Carly Castle, 32, of Banbury, Simon Cruden, 31, of Kidlington, Tom Rollason, 18, of Deddington, Amie Ing, 15, of Aylesbury, and William Zoghbi, 56, of the USA, raised the flame.
Mr Cruden, of Kidlington, was diagnosed with a brain tumour when he was 12 and had a string of operations, but was left registered blind.
He volunteers 54 hours a month at the John Radcliffe Hospital, putting on magic shows for youngsters in the children’s hospital.
Afterwards he said: “I’m tired and happy. It was amazing fun.
“A lot of people said they wished they had done more as they carried the torch so I was constantly waving at the crowd. There was a lot of whooping, it was awesome.”
And in Kidlington librarian Verity Westgate joined torchbearers to honour a young friend who took her own life.
The 28-year-old was nominated by husband Ken for raising more than £5,000 for mental health charity Mind.
She said the loss of childhood friend Emily Riall, 23, in 2006, inspired her fundraising efforts.
She was among seven torchbearers who were cheered by thousands through Banbury Road and Oxford Road.
The Bodleian Library, Oxford, worker said: “Mental illness is something I have suffered myself and people close to me have suffered. It is important that
people can speak out.”