Sir Geoff and 32nd Regiment Royal Artillery

News: Sir Geoff helps Amesbury celebrate Olympic Torch procession

Sir Geoff Hurst was the special guest of the British Army and Amesbury Town Council for the Olympic Torch procession yesterday.

A special presentation for 'Amesbury 2012' took place in the historic Amesbury Abbey with Sir Geoff awarding medals to the winners of events and competitions held during the last 12 months in the build up to the Olympics.

In total, 102 winners, including four football teams (under 8's, under 9's, under 10's and under 15's) and 16 soldiers from 32nd Regiment Royal Artillery, were all rewarded for their winning performances.

Members of the Regiment and the towns people then gathered to watch the procession of the Olympic Torch as it made its way through the ancient town of Amesbury.

"The soldiers and families of 32nd Regiment were delighted that Sir Geoff could join us." said Lieutenant Colonel Craig Palmer. "Sir Geoff stood shoulder to shoulder with the Regiment and local people as the Olympic torch passed through the town."

"The continued support which Sir Geoff gives to the Regiment is greatly appreciated by us all. Soldiers don't ask for very much. What they want is the occasional acknowledgement from the public that their sacrifice is worth it. The continued and very heartfelt support which Sir Geoff provides 32nd Regiment is confirmation to us that, not only do the public appreciate what we do, but that the soldiers and their families are very, very special."

To complete the day's celebrations, Sir Geoff was presented with a framed photograph marking a very special occasion in 2011 when he joined the 32nd Regiment RA for their homecoming parade. It was the first time the entire regiment had been together for over nine years.

"I am honoured to support the 32nd Regiment RA," said Sir Geoff. "It is vitally important that our Armed Forces know they have our support, locally and nationally.

"It's been great to see the local community and the Regiment work together to create such a memorable event for the town. I've enjoyed it immensely and hope everyone had a great day."

The Chairman of the Amesbury 2012 initiative, Andy Rhind-Tutt, commented, "During the past year more than 1100 local people have come together in events, competitions and activities, in the build up to the Olympics and the Queen's Diamond Jubilee and in doing so, new friendships have been forged, Amesbury has been given Historic status and people have started to feel that Amesbury is a very special place."

The former Mayor of Amesbury added, "It was the perfect end to a busy year to have one of the greatest sporting legends in our lifetime, Sir Geoff Hurst, embrace our community spirit and reinforce the special link that has been formed between the Army and the Community. On behalf of the Amesbury 2012 committee and the community of Amesbury, I wish to extend our thanks to Sir Geoff for his hands on involvement and for leaving Amesbury feeling honoured and inspired."

To view photographs, please click here to view the gallery.

Sir Geoff Hurst MBE secured a unique place in the history of football when he became the first and, over 45 years later, still the only player to score a hat-trick in a World Cup Final.

Knighted in 1998 and inducted into the English Football Hall of Fame in 2004, Sir Geoff holds a special place in the hearts of football fans and has become an iconic sporting figure across the world.