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TORCH STAR MCGRATH.. Soccer hero Paul to carry Olympic flame.


FORMER Irish soccer hero Paul McGrath yesterday told of his disbelief at being asked to carry the Olympic torch.

The former Manchester United defender will be involved in the relay on June 6 as the Olympic symbol arrives in Dublin.

The Black Pearl of Inchicore, 52, said he cannot believe he has been given the honour of being part of the rally when it comes to the capital.

He said: "Never in my life did I think that something like this would happen to me.

"I thought I might play soccer in the Olympics at some stage but I never thought I would be asked to do something as special as carry the torch."

Other sports stars such as Sonia O'Sullivan and Shane Horgan will be involved in the tour.

Former Irish rugby hero Shane said he just hopes he does not accidentally put the torch out while in possession. He joked: "It is a worry, I just hope I can keep it lit for my small leg of the relay.

"But I am really privileged and delighted to be a small part of it and really looking forward to the day now."

The Olympic symbol will be carried through the streets of Dublin, including a brief tour of Sheriff Street in Dublin's inner city.

Irish women's soccer star Olivia O'Toole said it is a great honour to bring it through her local community.

She added: "Sheriff Street has not got the best name in terms of trouble but for me it is my home and to do it in front of all my friends and family and the community is brilliant."

The decision to pass the torch south of the border has been seen as a major coup for the Olympic Council of Ireland.

Chairman of the London 2012 organising committee Seb Coe said: "This is a historic opportunity to showcase the wealth of sporting talent from across the Republic of Ireland ahead of the competition at London 2012."


CHOSEN Paul McGrath
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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:May 9, 2012
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