DAVID Beckham has spoken of getting "goose bumps" over being part of the official handover of the Olympic Flame to London.
The LA Galaxy star and former England skipper will be on the golden plane which transfers the Flame to British soil at RNAS Culdrose ahead of a welcoming ceremony and cauldron lighting event.
It will then begin a 70-day torch relay across Britain, involving 8,000 torchbearers who will take it to the opening ceremony in east London. Three-time Olympic sailing champion Ben Ainslie will be the first torchbearer.
"There was a lot of moments when I got goose bumps, just being part of it," Beckham said of being present at the handover at the Panathenaic Stadium in Athens, home of the 1896 Games.
Flight BA2012 will touch down in Britain this evening. The official delegation team on board includes the Princess Royal and London 2012 chairman Lord Coe.
Beckham, who was a key part of London's successful bid to the stage the Games, also gets to light a cauldron, he said.
"Obviously there is going to be a certain amount of pressure. I hope it lights," he said. "I have said to Seb (Lord Coe) how honoured I have been to be invited to be part of the team that bids for the Olympics.
"I have never performed in an Olympic Games but to be invited to be in a successful bid team, I was hugely honoured. Then to be travelling back with the flame tonight and to be lighting it is something very special and something I am going to cherish for many years."
With London 2012 executives listening closely nearby, Beckham said he had "no idea at all" about when or if he would carry the Olympic torch in Britain.
He was speaking during a visit to the Experimental School of the University of Athens in Kolonaki. He said: "It is such a big year for our country with the Jubilee and obviously with the Games. It would be nice to be very successful in the Games through all the athletes. We have got such talented young athletes, men and women. Let us hope that we get quite a few medals."