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APOLOGY: Olympic Torch at Headingley Carnegie

— 25 June 2012

We would like to apologise to anyone who came to see the Olympic torch on Sunday if they had their view impaired by the guard of honour.

(PHOTO: Ian Tippen and Peter Howard with the Olympic torches on the cricket pitch at Headingley Carnegie)

The original intention was for the second torchbearer to take the torch around the ground so that it could be easily viewed by all who attended. Unfortunately, a representative from the LOCOG (London’s Organising Committee of the Olympic Games) took a decision moments before the torch arrived to change the route and take the torch back the same way that it came in.

This was totally out of the control of anyone from the Stadium management team but we would still like to apologise if your experience was spoilt in anyway.


A line-up of events at Headingley the calibre of which we’re unlikely to see again in a while was lit up by the Olympic torch and fizzled out with the customary England penalty exit from a major Championship.

Torchbearers Ian Tippen and Peter Howard were greeted by a crowd of thousands eager for a glimpse of the Olympic torch as it visited Headingley Carnegie Stadium.

The cricket ground was the first landmark visited by the torch relay when it entered Leeds for an overnight stay on Sunday.

Ian, an army veteran and marathon runner from Wakefield, handed the Olympic flame to 78 year-old former triathlon world champion Peter.

Ian, aged 65, ran through the Trueman Enclosure onto the centre of the pitch as a guard of honour made up of Leeds Metropolitan University students and young cricketers paved his way.

If only Ashley Young and Ashley Cole could take penalties it could have been the perfect day.



I’m sure that news of the Olympic Torch’s journey will have passed none of you by and we’re all absolutely delighted that it’s coming to the stadium. It may only be a flying visit but it really is a tremendous honour.

We’re opening the ground up for anyone who’d like to join us and admission is FREE. The turnstiles on St. Michael’s Lane will be open from 5pm onwards and the Torch itself is scheduled to be with us at roughly 6pm. It’s only with us for 2 minutes so for heaven’s sake make sure you’ve not nipped to the loo! 10 local schools will be playing Kwik Cricket on the outfield and we’re also planning to show live coverage of the Olympic Trials from Birmingham on the replay screen.

I cannot stress too heavily the fact that St. Michael’s Lane is where you’ll need to come to in order to get into the ground. The turnstiles on Kirkstall Lane will NOT be open so please don’t say we haven’t warned you! As we’re expecting a good number of people to stay in the ground following the Rhinos v. Castleford match we’d advise you to get here promptly to ensure entry. The stadium only holds a certain number of people and once it’s full it’s full!

As if the visit of the Torch wasn’t enough we’ll also be screening England’s Euro 2012 QF clash with Italy later that same evening. From 6:30pm onwards the turnstiles on both St. Michael’s Lane and Kirkstall Lane will be open to allow folk to come and cheer Roy’s lads to victory over the highly volatile and defensively suspect pasta-munchers. Yes, you can quote me on that! Once again entry is FREE.


Have no fear though, a number of watering holes and concession units will be open to supply you with life-giving ale….and maybe some food as well if you’re into that sort of thing.

Right, I think that’s everything. Let’s have a re-cap:

  • Rhinos v. Castleford: 3pm – 4:40pm

  • St. Michael’s Lane turnstiles (NOT Kirkstall Lane) open for Torch spectators: 5pm

  • Estimated Torch Arrival: 6pm

  • Both St. Michael’s Lane and Kirkstall Lane turnstiles open for footie fans: 6:30pm

  • England v. Italy Kick-Off: 7:45pm

It would be fantastic to be able to welcome the Torch to a busy stadium so please come and join us if you can. All I would ask (other than that you remember to come to St. Michael’s Lane for Torch access!) is that you keep your fingers crossed for some good weather yet promise to remain in a cheerful state of eager anticipation even if it’s a tad grey!