Fram Town live Wembley dream

FRAMLINGHAM Town joined forces with England boss Fabio Capello and 1966 World Cup hero Sir Geoff Hurst at the McDonald's National Football Festival at Wembley last week.

Stuart Watson

FRAMLINGHAM Town joined forces with England boss Fabio Capello and 1966 World Cup hero Sir Geoff Hurst at the McDonald's National Football Festival at Wembley last week.

The Under-9 side from Suffolk received expert tuition from McDonald's head coach Eric Harrison - the former Manchester United youth team boss who nurtured the talents of David Beckham - before taking part in mini-tournaments under the watchful gaze of Capello and Hurst.

The South-Suffolk side earned their place under the famous arch alongside 55 teams from around the UK after being chosen by the Suffolk FA for their outstanding disciplinary record.

Manager Robbie Abraham said: “Playing at Wembley meant everything to the kids - it was absolutely brilliant.

“The look on their faces when we got to Wembley was just incredible. We had to leave early on Mnday morning but it was well worth it.

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“We had a 57-seater coach completely full of players and parents. It's not just the lads that have been looking forward to this for ages, I have too.

“We are a small town team really, just country folk, so to get the chance to go to Wembley and see Fabio Capello and meet Sir Geoff Hurst was just amazing.

“It was a once in a lifetime chance for the boys to get to play at Wembley and they loved every minute of it.”

The event had been organised by McDonald's, the Football Association's community partner, as the culmination of a regional festival tour which saw more than 20,000 children receive free coaching at 50 regional festivals.

Framlingham - who play in the South Suffolk Under-10s Division One - followed in the footsteps of Portsmouth and Manchester United stars from the weekend's Community Shield - walking down the tunnel, playing a match on the hallowed turf and walking up the famous Wembley steps to the Royal Box.

And Hurst is hopeful some of the youngsters on show might be back pulling on an England shirt in the future.

He said: “I was delighted to be involved with a scheme that was able to give the kids the chance to play at Wembley.

“The day was completely for the players and when I looked at the faces of the Framlingham team when they came off the pitch I could see what it meant to them.

“They've had the chance to play at this great stadium and you never know some of them might be back one-day playing professionally.”

- The McDonald's National Festival aims to boost the standard and availability of qualified coaching for young players in every community. For more information on McDonald's coaching programme, please go to: www.mcdonalds.co.uk.

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