World cup winner and former Norwich player Martin Peters visits Waveney Youth FC

A QUEUE of excited children lined up to meet a World Cup winner today as their prize-winning football club enjoyed a special visitor.

More than 100 children aged between three and 12 years old welcomed former Norwich and England legend Martin Peters to Waveney Youth FC.

Mr Peters gave out the club's appearance medals and signed pictures, cards and shirts as he helped to promote the 2012 FA Community Awards.

Last year Waveney Youth FC won the FA's Eastern Regional Charter Standard Community Club of 2011, and this visit paid tribute to that success.

Mr Peters said he was very impressed with what he saw at the club, which is based at Barnards Meadow, in Lowestoft.


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'This must be the best one I have been to,' he said. 'It is great to see the kids out here so very keen, they really love their football.'

Mr Peters played as an England schoolboy before going on to a glittering professional career, but said it was very different when he was growing up.

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'I go back to when I was that age and used to go and play at the park on my own and jump over fences to play on the school's football pitches. They'd chase me off and I'd climb over the fence again,' he said.

'Having coaches at this age is something that never happened to me. My teacher talked about football to me, but nothing like this.'

Among those queuing up to meet Mr Peters for an autograph was Francesca Catchpole.

Francesca, nine, said it was 'magnificent' to meet a World Cup winner and said she loved playing football there each week.

Shane Davey, chairman at Waveney Youth FC, said the appearance of Mr Peters was a fantastic accolade for the prize-winning club, which has in excess of 45 teams, including youth ones for boys and girls, adult and two disability teams.

'It is an honour to have a World Cup winner here for the whole club, from the coaches through to those serving teas and coffees,' he said.

'We have been fortunate to win the national award a few years ago and I think Suffolk FA look at us as one of the benchmark clubs, but we don't rest on our laurels and continue to invest in the club.'

The 2012 FA Community Awards, supported by McDonalds, recognise and reward volunteers involved in grassroots football, with county FAs choosing their winners before they go on to compete for regional and national awards.

Jonathan Moyes, of Suffolk FA, said Waveney Youth FC was a great example to others, as he encouraged nominations for the awards.

'We are looking for as many people as possible to nominate coaches, clubs and volunteers,' he said.

•For more on the awards visit www.suffolkfa.com and www.mcdonalds.co.uk/kickstart

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