Framlingham: Legend boosts grassroots football

Fiona Whatling , Sir Geoff Hurst, Christine Abraham

Fiona Whatling , Sir Geoff Hurst, Christine Abraham - Credit: Archant

HIS most famous moment might have been nearly 50 years ago but World Cup legend Sir Geoff Hurst remains a talisman for football fans of all ages.

The hat-trick hero from 1966 now devotes much of his time to promoting youth and grassroots football – and yesterday he visited Framlingham Town FC.

He visited the club to promote the nomination period of the 2013 FA and McDonald’s Community Awards – and his arrival promoted massive interest from young players, their parents, and grandparents.

Sir Geoff said it was vital to support the game at the grassroots – both for its role within communities generally and because it is at clubs like Framlingham Town that future professionals can emerge.

He is now McDonalds’ director of football – working with the FA to promote the game at the grassroots.

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He said: “The people who run clubs like this are absolutely vital to the game and its continued development.

“It is important to have youngsters coming through clubs like this – but that can’t happen without the army of volunteers that support clubs like this at every level.”

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Much of his time is now spent visiting clubs, meeting the organisers and promoting the Community Awards.

When he is not visiting clubs, he is also involved with spreading the grassroots football message to the corridors of power – he works with MPs to ensure the importance of the grassroots game is clear.

Throughout his visit to the club, he was happy to meet people, sign autographs, and have his photograph taken with fans of all ages.

On a cold, miserable Sunday lunchtime, his arrival was enough to attract visitors to the club from local football clubs across east Suffolk.

“We’re trying to get the message out that local clubs do so much for their communities – and the awards are one way that can be recognised,” he said.

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