World Cup message to pupils for new sport art project

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Year 6 pupils of Harrogate’s St Robert’s Catholic Primary received special messages of support from a 1966 World Cup winner and from the chairman of the FA.

Some 44 pupils interviewed a group of older people to capture memories of life 50 years ago, when England hosted and won the World Cup.

The visitors showed memorabilia to the pupils, including a vintage England shirt and World Cup Willie, the mascot from the tournament.

Recollections ranged from Sir Geoff Hurst’s hat-trick, TV and Radio commentary, through to fashion, make up and music.

Two surprise video messages were played at the end praising pupils for their inspiring work. Greg Dyke, chair of the FA congratulated the children.

The second message came from a player who has won more World Cups than Lionel Messi, Christiano Ronaldo and David Beckham combined - 1966 winner George Cohen who wished them luck.

The memories will be used to inspire pupils to create works of art that will be displayed at Redhouse Originals Gallery.

The project, also with Last Man Projects, has been funded through a grant provided to The Sporting Memories Foundation by Spirit of 2012 Trust, to unite generations through memories of great sporting occasions.

The work will also contribute to the project being run by the foundation in partnership with the FA and National Football Museum www.memoriesof66.com

Marie Cunnington, teacher at St Robert’s Catholic Primary School said: “The children were really looking forward to meeting our guests and were keen to listen to some of the wonderful stories of the older generation.

“They were transfixed by what our older visitors had to say and avidly wrote down all that they could. It was quite a special moment for us all.”

Richard McTague, Director of Redhouse Originals Gallery said: “The pupils had put a great deal of effort into preparing for the interviews, it was so uplifting to see just how much everyone enjoyed the session. We’ll be announcing the date of the celebration event at the gallery very shortly.”

Tony Jameson-Allen, Co-founder of The Sporting Memories Foundation said: “It was fantastic being part of this event, the pupils proved to be real experts in interviewing, there was a wonderful atmosphere throughout the event and a lot of smiles on everyone’s faces.

“We are looking forward to seeing the artworks at the celebration exhibition.”