THEY will proudly carry the most famous flame in the world through the streets of Southampton.

The Olympic torch will make its way through the city on July 14.

Hilary Corrick, Heather Lambert and Jim Dowdall are among 18 local heroes picked for their inspirational work in the city. They will be joined by Naomi Pike, Bruce Elkins, Chris Goodwin, Christopher Russell, Freda Bussey, Gill Rose, Ian Chalk, Jim Whitmarsh, Kyle Jones, Theodore Oben, Chris Ogborne, Gus Mckechnie, Kwesi James, Roger Sherliker and Mike Godwin.

Hilary, 68, has worked as a social worker for 46 years while Heather, 48, dedicated her life to fostering 52 children.

Both were nominated by the council. The other torchbearers were nominated by their communities.

Jim, 86, from Thornhill suffered a mini stroke at the age of 71 but went on to run the London Marathon at 73 and has since gone on to complete another seven marathons, raising nearly £16,000 for the Wessex Cancer Trust.

He said: “It’s absolutely wonderful to have been chosen, although I’m a little bit nervous about it. I’ve been training on my indoor bike machine to make sure I am fit enough for it. It’s a real privilege and I can’t wait to be able to hold the torch.”

Hilary said: “It’s amazing.

I just don’t think I deserve it.

There are so many other people out there who do so much for their community. I’m really excited about it but I’m also a little bit nervous.”

Heather said: “It’s absolutely amazing. At first I didn’t think it was such a big deal but then the realisation came.

We have to run 300 metres carrying the torch. I’m actually feeling really nervous about it and keep thinking why me? But I can’t wait to be able to hold the torch.”

The torch will travel through Southampton from the Red Funnel terminal, ending up at Mayflower Park. It arrives in Hampshire three days earlier – in Winchester and Kings Worthy. It will also visit the New Forest, Fareham and Gosport.