THE 1966 World Cup inspired a man from Elmswell to give something back to his country, by becoming one of the 70,000 Gamesmakers who made London 2012 special for those attending.
Barry Brough was just 12 when he witnessed the excitement of the World Cup.
Now, at 58, he became the dedicated driver for IOC executive board member Frank Fredericks, of Namibia, better known as Frankie Fredericks, the 100 and 200 metre sprint medallist at the Atlanta and Barcelona Games.
Barry, a former BT engineer and owner of a coffee shop business, was captivated by the unity the 1966 tournament engendered and said his experiences this year echoed that sense of belonging.
He was offered a role in the Olympic Family Service team and, following months of preparation, he became driver for Mr Fredericks and his family.
Barry, who now works for the Office of National Statistics, was invited along with other gamesmakers to the Namibian High Commission residence for a reception to welcome the country’s athletes.
He said: “The reaction from the public was enormously positive and there was a common bond for all of the Gamesmakers. There was a sense of unity and common purpose for what we had all signed up for.”
Barry was also able to witness some of the pivital moments of the games and watched Mr Fredericks present medals to Greg Rutherford, long jump gold medallist, and the Jamaican winners of the 200 metres sprint.
One of the best experiences, said Barry, was the thanks that he and other Gamesmakers had from the public as they went about in their distinctive purple and red uniforms.
“It was, at times, intimidating, stressful and exhausting but overall very enjoyable and a once-in-a-lifetime experience,” he said.