FORMER England captain Terry Butcher and ex-Olympian Paul Evans launched the new Sporting Memories Group in Lowestoft.
Butcher, the former Ipswich Town centre half who won 77 caps for his country, and long distance runner Evans, who competed in the Barcelona and Atlanta Olympics, were both brought up in the north Suffolk town.
Both Anglia TV and Football Focus were present to film the occasion at Lowestoft Library on Thursday, and after Sporting Memories Network Suffolk Project Co-ordinator Richard Hunt made the initial introductions before Paul took centre stage first.
He told the audience how he was a keen but not very good local footballer who took up running as a hobby and progressed very quickly to the point that he qualified and competed in the Olympic Games.
Next up was Terry Butcher who remarked how lovely it was to be back in Lowestoft sharing his sporting memories. He started by saying how he remembered going with his dad to watch Lowestoft Town and kicking about behind one of the goals.
Terry progressed to captaining Suffolk Schools and having England trials but never pushed himself to professional clubs because he was worried that he would be told he wasn’t good enough.
He played for local men’s teams up until the age of 17 until he was offered trials at Norwich (BBC Radio Suffolk captured his story about how he felt physically sick putting on the green and yellow!), but he cut short his trial there and then went to Ipswich on a month’s trial, signing a contract after three weeks.
Terry spoke fondly about his former managers Sir Bobby Robson, about whom he shared some funny stories, and Bobby Ferguson.
He brought his memories back round to Lowestoft and how important it is for people to share their memories and meet socially.
After loud applause he sat on every table and had a personal conversation with nearly everyone present.
Suffolk FA Senior Football Officer Darren Scoulding, who attended the event, said: “It was great to be present to witness the warmness that the people of Lowestoft had for their local boy done good.
“Terry’s down to earth nature and time for everyone makes him a great character at events like this, putting everyone at ease.
“Sporting Memories are closely aligned to our aim of Football For All, with some of our Walking Football centres having already experienced these sessions and with more planned in the near future.”
For more information on Sporting Memories, please contact Richard Hunt on 07704 977322, email firstname.lastname@example.org of visit the website sportingmemoriesnetwork.com
For more information on Walking Football please click here to visit the Walking Football page on the Suffolk FA website or contact Senior Football Development Officer, Darren Scoulding on 07432 735984 or via email email@example.com