Trevor takes aim at Bideford Blues

Joseph Bulmer

Football legend returns to his Devon roots

FOOTBALL legend Trevor Francis thrilled young Bideford footballers with a special appearance at their club on Sunday.

English football’s first ever one-million-pound-man visited the Bideford Blues and Appledore Junior FC Sandymere HQ at Westward Ho! to launch the 2011 FA Community Awards.

Francis, who grew up in Plymouth, shot to fame with Birmingham City in the 1970s before making the switch to Nottingham Forest, where he went on to win back-to-back European Cups and earn more than 50 caps for England.

As part of his visit to North Devon, he took a tour of the Blues’ facilities and watched a game between the club’s Under 11s and Chumleigh Under 11s, before fielding questions about his time in the game.

Keith Greenleaf, the Blues’ vice-chairman, said: “Having Trevor at the club was a great experience for us all and one we won’t forget in a hurry.

“He’s been a brilliant inspiration to the kids, talking about where he came from and how he got his big break, and then taking time out to show us some of his footwork as well – it was a great day.”

The North Devon club was crowned regional winners of the FA Charter Standard Community Club award at the inaugural FA Community Awards last year. The awards, sponsored by McDonald’s, aim to recognise and reward people across the country who make a difference to grassroots football in their local community.

Nominations for the 2011 awards are now open and people across the country are being encouraged to put forward their community heroes in one of the eight categories.

“For us as a club, being crowned regional winners of the FA Charter Standard Community Club award last year was a great boost and it was fantastic to see all of the hard work of everyone at the club paying off,” added Keith.

“We are looking forward to being a part of this year’s awards – fingers crossed we get nominated again!”

To find out more and to nominate your grassroots heroes, log on to before March 18.

This year’s winners will be announced at the FA Community Shield at Wembley on August 7.