The closing ceremony for the London 2012 Paralympic Games has wowed crowds with fire, a stunning light show and music from megastars.
The show at the Olympic Stadium in London was dubbed the Festival of the Flame and features more than 1,000 volunteers.
The spectacle began with a war hero who lost both legs in a blast on the battlefields of Helmand climbing a flagpole and proudly flying the Union Flag.
Captain Luke Sinnott provided an emotional and fitting end to the London games – hailed the best in history.
Organisers described his role in the ceremony as “a supreme feat of strength and courage”.
The National Anthem was then sung by blind singer Lissa Hermans, who is also autistic.
Fifty four drummers created an avenue through which the Earl of Wessex, representing the Queen, and International Paralympic Committee chairman Sir Philip Craven entered the stadium.
Flame throwers, blazing torches and a gigantic heart of fire lit up the Olympic Stadium.
Quadruple gold medal winners David Weir, nicknamed the Weirwolf, and Sarah Storey received huge cheers as they carried the British flag into the stadium together.
The move was a change to the normal protocol of selecting a single individual and team officials had to gain permission from the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) to make the move.
Serviceman Rory Mackenzie, who lost his leg in a roadside bomb explosion in Iraq, gave a poetic speech about the Festival of the Flame.
He said: “We have all been touched by the triumphs and drama of the Paralympics. Witness to the indomitable human spirit of the athletes.”
Coldplay performed a selection of their hits as the audience clapped and sang along in delight.
The band were joined by special guest Rihanna, who arrived in the stadium on a gothic pirate ship, and rapper Jay-Z.
Rihanna said: “Being at the Paralympics is the biggest honour. These athletes are gladiators and are a true inspiration to me.”
The ceremony included some stunning effects, costumes and performers, including a cast of disabled artists who have spent weeks learning circus skills for the show.
After Coldplay played the first half of their set, London mayor Boris Johnson passed the Paralympic Flag to the mayor of Rio Eduardo Paes and Brazil’s national anthem was played.
It was a poignant moment as it signalled the true end of London 2012.
And London 2012 chairman Lord Coe received rapturous applause and a standing ovation as he signed off his speech with the words “London 2012. Made in Britain”.
Teenage swimming star – and face of the games – Ellie Simmonds, 17, was joined by sprinting sensation Jonnie Peacock, 19, to play a part in one of the last moments of the Games.
As the Paralympic cauldron was extinguished they transferred the final flame to a London Paralympic Torch, which was then used to light hundreds of torches held by members of the cast throughout the field of play.