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England united – faces invited to back FIFA World CupTM bid


BT and England 2018 launch the official supporters’ photo flag at

England striker, Peter Crouch, joined 1966 World Cup winner, Geoff Hurst and official sponsors BT at Wembley Stadium yesterday to boost the bid to bring the FIFA World CupTM to England in 2018 by inviting people to put their faces on the official supporters’ flag to mark their support*.

The football stars launched the national rally to back the bid by signing their names in light on a 67ft (20m) high flag projected by laser onto Wembley Stadium.

Peter Crouch said: “This is everyone’s chance to help bring the World Cup to England. We want people to show their passion for football, get behind the England 2018 bid and be remembered for it. Show your mates you’ve backed the bid and get them all to do the same.”

People can show their support by going to to add their name or profile photo from Facebook to the digital flag or text “BT Vision and your name” to 62018.

The photos and names will create a mosaic of hundreds and thousands of images on the virtual flag bearing the 2018 bid logo, The FA’s three lions badge and the slogan “England united. The world invited”.

Gavin Patterson, CEO, BT Retail, said: “We want the flag to become a symbol that shows the passion there is not just in England, but across the whole of the UK, amongst fans to bring football’s greatest competition back to England in 2018. Creating the flag filled with photos of people who want to be with us will help to show FIFA that we have the nationwide support to put on a superb tournament.”

England 2018 chief executive Andy Anson, said: “The BT photo flag is an exciting way for fans to get behind England’s World Cup Bid and show their support. Demonstrating the passion of football fans in this country is fundamental to our bid and BT’s campaign provides a fantastic way to capture this.”

The BT England 2018 “Back the Bid” campaign will be touring football games to give fans the chance to show their support including around the FA Cup semi-finals on Olympic Way.**

Supporters will get the chance to win a once in a lifetime opportunity to be flag bearers at Wembley at key FA matches by automatically being entered into a free prize draw.

Supporters can back the bid on Facebook at
or follow the bid on twitter at @BTbackthebid.

Images are available on request.

Notes to editors

* About England 2018 World Cup Bid

• The World Cup Bid was officially launched in May 2009 at Wembley Stadium by Prime Minister Gordon Brown, England 2018 Chairman Lord Triesman and England 2018 Vice-President David Beckham

• England is one of eight competitors bidding to host the 2018 tournament and one of nine bidding to host the 2022 tournament. The decision for both tournaments will be announced in Zurich in December 2010

• The following Candidate Host Cities will be included in the England 2018 World Cup Bid: Birmingham, Bristol, Leeds, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Milton Keynes, Newcastle/Gateshead, Nottingham, Plymouth, Sheffield and Sunderland

• England 2018 will hand in its technical ‘Bid Book’ to FIFA on May 14, 2010

* * Wembley (Olympic Way): Chelsea v Aston Villa April 10
Wembley (Olympic Way): Portsmouth v Tottenham April 11
Tottenham v Chelsea April 17
Sunderland v Manchester United May 1
Sheffield Wednesday v Crystal Palace May 2


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