Norwich City legend Iwan Roberts scores a hit with shoppers at the opening of new Specsavers store.
- Credit: Archant
Former Norwich City footballer Iwan Roberts scored a hit with Sheringham shoppers when he turned out to open a new Specsavers store in the town centre.
Sports commentator and Eastern Daily Press columnist Mr Roberts, who made 306 appearances and scored 96 goals for the Canaries, was supporting store director Kevin Osborne, whom he met as a teammate at a charity golf match.
'Kevin is a big Norwich fan and I'd got to the stage of having to hold a menu five yards away to read it,' Mr Roberts said. 'I met Kevin, we hit it off straight away and I've worn glasses ever since.'
Mr Osborne who, with business partner Michael Meller, owns Specsavers stores at Fakenham and East Dereham, said he had been looking to branch out into Sheringham for eight years.
'I think the biggest thing for people here is having to travel to Norwich or Fakenham and we will be able to provide affordable eye care and hearing care to Sheringham, Cromer, Holt and all the villages in between.'
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The new store, in High Street, has a main sales area, as well as three optical testing rooms and an audiology room.
It also boasts a state-of-the-art ocular coherence tomography scanner which can help detect conditions such as glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy.
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It will be managed by dispensing optometrist Sarah Jane Smith, with a staff team including four optical assistants and an audiologist.
Mr Meller, who has 23 years' experience as an optometrist, will be carrying out eye tests.
Mr Osborne said: 'As always, we want to provide affordable eye and hearing care within the community and, because we bring the best equipment, the best products and the best value, we think we will be an asset to the town.'
Sheringham Chamber of Trade and Commerce secretary Andy Bullen predicted the new store would bring trade to the town without having a negative impact on existing businesses, including long-standing Station Road opticians Roger Lee.
'It is obviously more competition for our other optician,' he said. 'But, in some ways, having that choice can bring more people into town. And although Sheringham has always prided itself on having lots of independent shops, knowing that a big company like Specsavers is prepared to invest here shows they think we have a bright future.'