Declan Rudd turns on Diss Christmas lights

Norwich City goalkeeper Declan Rudd was given the honour of switching-on his hometown's Christmas lights last night.

The 19-year-old took centre stage in Diss town centre where he pushed a magic plunger to illuminate the streets and a large Christmas tree while fireworks burst overhead.

Accompanied by Father Christmas, Diss town mayor Adrian Kitchen, Diss carnival queen Annabel Oakes and young competition winners, Mr Rudd was watched by hundreds of residents who had braved the frosty weather to enjoy the town's annual festive celebration.

The former Diss High School pupil, who joined Norwich City's academy aged just eight and has previously played in the England under-19 squad, said: 'I feel like it's a big thing to be asked to do this. Being from Diss it's a big honour. When I was young I used to come and watch this.'

The evening began with a mini Christmas parade where Miss Oakes and friends arrived in the Market Place on a horse drawn carriage.

Attractions in the town centre included a chance to meet Father Christmas' reindeer, fairground rides, face painting, morris dancing, music from community station Park Radio and carols from the Salvation Army.

Christmas shoppers also took advantage of the late opening hours with many stores continuing to trade into the night to mark the special occasion.