WITH London certain to play a central role in England's bid to host the 2018 FIFA World Cup™, "London United" has launched a special video to showcase how football lies at the heart of the capital and all its communities.
London's love of football stretches across all ages, races and genders.
The exclusive film will not only demonstrate the diversity and breadth of the sport within the city but also feature a host of iconic landmarks, famous parks and global star players that encapsulate why London is the best location for FIFA to bestow on it the honour of being a key World Cup city.The 'Park Life' theme is integral to London's bid and is the creative used for the campaign, designed to play heavily on the traditionof the classic kick-around enjoyed by young children and adults throughout their lives in any of the 278 London parks and open spaces.
We want all Londoners to pledge their support by logging onto the website, clicking on "Add Your Support" then choosing London in the drop down menu for "Choose Your Host City".
London is calling upon its football community to help secure one million signatories as part of the campaign.
Though the film captures the passion of the amateur game, 'Park Life' is also interspersed with shots of Wembley Stadium and some of the world's and England's biggest football stars, who themselves have grown up playing on many of the park facilities that London has to offer, the fields where they dreamt of their World Cup future.
Each of the London-born England players in the current squad has recalled their own 'Park Life' memories where they honed their skills to become international stars. It demonstrates the inextricable link between any 'Park Life' player and their rise to the pinnacle of football.
Chelsea and England star Ashley Cole recalls the joy of kick-arounds on Hackney Marshes: "Some of my best early memories of playing football in a park were for my local Sunday team.
"The team was called Puma and we played at Hackney Marshes. I played alongside Ledley King and J Lloyd Samuel and we played against the likes of John Terry, and Bobby Zamora.
"It looks like that is a place where quite a few careers were started."
England captain John Terry has fond memories of his local park: "I lived in Barking as a youngster and right at the back of my house, literally just over the other side of the fence, was Newlands Park.
"That's where I played all of my football growing up. It was always me and my brother against our two next door neighbours, Danny and Billy.
"We used to pretend we were in the World Cup, and would be different teams each time."
Peter Crouch of Tottenham Hotspur and England is another star who developed his game on one of London's many park football pitches, this time in west London: "I used to play at Pitshanger Park, which was my local park as a kid.
"It was the best time for me, playing football with school friends. They are still my friends now.
"It is great to score goals in big stadiums but I had the most fun when I was playing in the park."
Crouch's England and Spurs teammate Jermain Defoe also remembers his early footballing days: "When I first started playing it was at the back of my Nan's house in Canning Town, east London.
"There was a field I used to play on with a few of my cousins and my mates who lived round there.
"We would use anything as a goal. Sometimes it could just be trees if they weren't too far apart or jackets."
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