OLYMPIC medal winner Steven Burke received a hero’s welcome on his return to East Lancashire.

Up to 2,000 people lined Albert Street, Colne, yesterday to congratulate the 20-year-old former Park Primary and Park High School pupil for clinching the bronze medal in the individual cycling pursuit in Beijing.

And Steven, who returned from China on Friday, outlined his ambitions for the next four years.

He said: “My long-term goal is to train for London 2012 and then win two gold medals and set a new world record.”

Steven was greeted at Colne Railway Station by Pendle Council’s cycling officer Patricia Wilson and taken by open-top car to the town centre.

A convoy of local cyclists followed closely behind along with Steven’s family and friends.

Hundreds of families lined the streets, waving Union Flags and shouting congrat-ulations to the Olympic hero.

He was met by Pendle Mayor Coun Shelagh Derwent, council leader Coun John David, Colne area committee chairman Coun Sharon Davies and Colne Town Council chairman Coun Dorothy Lord at the town hall He was presented with a bouquet of flowers and a memento of his Olympic success.

Steven smashed his personal best time on his way to his medal.

After the parade Steven said: “It is a dream come true. I can’t believe the support I have had in the last few days.

“It’s been absolutely amazing. I just want to thank everyone for coming and supporting me.”

Steven, who was set to meet up with his grandad Vinnie in the Royal British Legion Club following the procession, added: “I’ve been celebrating for the last six days but I’m definitely going to carry on now I’m back home with my family and friends.”

Coun Derwent, said: “It’s absolutely fantastic. The turnout has been tremendous.

“Steven is a fantastic role model for young people.

“I really hope he will visit the schools in Colne now he’s back.”

British Cycling President Brian Cookson, of Pendle, said: “To go faster in each of the three races and win a bronze medal at such a young age is brilliant and he’s a really nice, shy and modest lad as well.”