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West Ham legend Sir Geoff Hurst meets young Dagenham footballers

PUBLISHED: 09:00 21 March 2017

Sir Geoff Hurst with Dagenham United footballers (Photo: Vianney Le Caer/SilverHub)

Sir Geoff Hurst with Dagenham United footballers (Photo: Vianney Le Caer/SilverHub)

Vianney Le Caer/SilverHub

1966 World Cup hero, Sir Geoff Hurst MBE, paid a special visit to Dagenham United Football Club.

The former West Ham United and England striker took a trip down memory lane as he returned to a grassroots club to promote girls’ football and the vital work of football volunteers at the club, in Manor Road, on Saturday.

Sir Geoff, who is McDonald’s director of football, passed on his wealth of knowledge to all the teams and spent time meeting and chatting to members of the local community.

“You’ve only got to come here, Dagenham, the heart of east London,” he said.

“Coming here and seeing these kids, particularly the youngsters, the mini kickers, they’re five years of age, it’s fabulous.

“Clubs like Dagenham United FC are vital to the development of the grassroots game and bringing communities together.”

Sir Geoff believes it’s “massively important” to keep grassroots football alive, as it gives kids an opportunity to spend time outdoors and keeping active, but also important to get more girls involved.

“Not just girls football, grassroots football, although what we have seen over the last 13 to 14 years we have seen a greater number now of young girls coming to participate for their clubs,” he added.

“It’s giving kids the opportunity to spend time out in the fresh air together, exercising, channeling their energies into a sport instead of challenging it into what some young people do, which I’m not going to mention.”

The striker, who managed an impressive 24 goals in his 49 England caps, including a memorable hat-trick in the 1966 World Cup final, was also promoting McDonald’s Community Awards, as well as encouraging people to vote.

“They wouldn’t survive without the tireless efforts of volunteers and it is so important that we recognise and say thank you to those involved.”

Visit mcdonalds.co.uk/awards to nominate a deserving grassroots hero.

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