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Friday, 29 May 2015

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Sir Bobby Charlton hails Furness College students

AS a lifelong Manchester United fan I am not afraid to admit I had a few jitters before meeting one of the club’s greatest legends – Sir Bobby Charlton.

The 1966 World Cup winner was in Barrow yesterday with his charity Find a Better Way and I was invited to cover the event and meet one of the greatest footballing legends.

The group visited Furness College to congratulate electrical engineering students on their pioneering work in landmine detection, a cause close to Sir Bobby’s heart.

A year on from his last visit to the college, Sir Bobby presented 29-year-old Mark Ottley with a Institute of Engineering Technology Certificate for developing equipment that could be capable of reducing the amount of time it takes to detect landmines by 50 per cent.

Sir Bobby has a way of putting you at ease and after my initial nerves I was caught up in his enthusiasm for the work of his charity.

He said: “I came here a year ago and the college has come on a lot stronger since that time.

“The new building is excellent and meeting the young lad Mark today shows the fantastic things they have done here. I hope that he puts the time into continuing to work towards detecting landmines.”

Mr Ottley, from Walney, had been developing technology to make the process of detecting and disposing of landmines safer.

He said: “Getting my award from Sir Bobby was surreal, I mean he is a knight of the realm! He seems genuinely interested in all the research we have done.”

The day was further cemented in Mr Ottley’s memory when Sir Bobby told him: “Meeting you has made my day.”

Fellow student Paul Easterbrook, 35, who has been researching ways to identify landmines through audio waves, said he was “humbled” by his meeting with Sir Bobby.

Sir Bobby set up Find a Better Way in 2005, with the aim of developing technology to help with the clearing of landmines, an issue brought home to him by the sport he dominated for years.

He said: “I spoke to a friend of mine, the football coach Scotty Lee, and he told me that children in Cambodia and Sarajevo have to be careful when they are playing football in case they step on landmines. I just thought there has to be a better way.”

Have your say

i hope being a lifelong Man Utd fan that your originally from manchester and moved to Barrow. if not shame on you.

Posted by the poacher on 28 November 2012 at 16:47

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