January 29 2015 Latest news:
Thursday, April 17, 2014
It’s something which every football fan dreams of – playing on the hallowed turf of Wembley Stadium.
And for a personal trainer from Norwich that dream came true, when he was given a once-in-a-lifetime chance to take part in a match at the home of English football.
Leon Bustin, 26, was able to get a taste of what it is like for England stars such as Stephen Gerrard and Wayne Rooney when they run out onto the pitch in the colours of their country.
Mr Bustin, who lives in Bertram Way in Thorpe Hamlet, had the opportunity to run out at Wembley Stadium in the brand new England kit after he was invited to the Big Pitch event by YouTube channel STR Skill School, partner of Vauxhall, the England team sponsor.
The England fans all met at the 90,000-seater stadium in preparation for the game and, as an extra surprise on the day, the teams were managed by former England internationals Ray Parlour and Gary Mabbutt.
Mr Bustin said: “It’s been a truly unforgettable experience. To play in this magnificent stadium alongside legends of the game – what else can I say?”
“We were given behind the scenes access at Wembley and to run out of the tunnel was an unbelievable experience.
“And then, when the managers were revealed, the look on everyone’s faces was something I’ll never forget. We just couldn’t believe it.”
Former Arsenal midfielder Parlour, who made 10 appearances for his country, said: “The players have been fantastic and we’ve all had a magnificent day thanks to Vauxhall.
“I am sure they will all remember this day for a very long time – it’s not every day you run out at Wembley Stadium.”
Chris Hornbuckle, Vauxhall head of sponsorship, said: “This is our fourth year of running the Big Pitch event and once again it’s been an unbelievable day.
“To fulfil the childhood dreams of England fans is something we are very proud of and the perfect start to what is set to be a fantastic summer of football.”
The England team are off to Brazil this summer to take part in the 2014 World Cup. Norwich City goalkeeper John Ruddy is hoping he will have a seat on the plane when manager Roy Hodgson names his squad.
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