Dean Parsons (Haydon the Womble) carries the Olympic Flame

Dean Parsons carries the Olympic TorchDean Parsons, better known as AFC Wimbledon’s mascot Haydon the Womble, was an Olympic torchbearer in south London on 23 July 2012.

He carried the Olympic Flame for up to half a mile through part of the Sutton section of the route, along Croydon Road (A232) in Beddington.

Dean had originally hoped that Haydon the Womble would be able to carry the torch, as his charity work as Haydon is the reason he was nominated and selected. However, only human torchbearers were allowed. Dean said on Haydon’s blog:

“He may have to turn in to human form, but will change straight back in to Womble mode as soon as he has finished carrying the torch, for publicity purposes and to promote the club I am so proud to be mascot for, AFC Wimbledon.”

The BBC reported live from the relay: “Hopefully Dean Parsons won’t be stopping during his run with the flame to pick up things that the everyday folks leave behind. It would be more tempting if he were in the guise of his alter ego, Haydon the Womble – the identity he assumes as the mascot for AFC Wimbledon. Today’s 100th torchbearer, Dean has raised nearly £10,000 for the Children’s Trust Tadworth by taking part in activities including standing on Trafalgar Square’s fourth plinth and running the London Marathon. He is thoroughly enjoying his stint, dancing along Croydon Road and waving madly.”

There were 23 torchbearers on the Sutton route (which works out at around four minutes each), running west from Beddington through Carshalton to Sutton and then north towards Morden.

In total, 8,000 inspirational torchbearers were selected to carry the Olympic Flame around the UK on a 70-day relay, before it arrives at the Olympic Opening Ceremony on 27 July.

Every torchbearer wears a white and gold uniform designed by adidas. The white top has gold shards at the shoulder and neckline, which run down the arm to the hand holding the Torch.

Find out more about the Olympic Torch Relay on the London 2012 website.

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