Greenwood for Green...

Will Greenwood

Will Greenwood

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Former Preston Grasshopper Will Greenwood once said that he would swap his England World Cup winning medal for a chance to play up front for Hurst Green Football Club.

Now his village team has granted the Lancashire-born rugby union star his wish.

Hurst Green FC, who play in the West Lancashire League Division One, have arranged a special friendly in Greenwood’s honour next month.

Greenwood, who starred in the 2003 World Cup final against Australia made famous by Jonny Wilkinson’s last minute kick, said: “People ask me if I have any regrets in life?

“Just one – that I never wore the Hurst Green Football Club shirt. That’s how much it means to me.

“I was always looking over our garden fence on Smithy Row, Hurst Green, going, ‘Go on give us a shout – pick me.’

He added: “I can’t believe I’m going to wear the number nine top finally.”

Hurst Green vice chairman Ian Barton said: “Will Greenwood is our No.1 fan – and the game is a way of saying thank-you to Will for all his support over the years. He did a sportsman’s dinner for us at Longridge, and it raised £7,000.

“That helped the club gain admission to the West Lancashire League with the ground improvements that we were able to make.

“He has played a huge role. Now he can live the dream by wearing the No.9 shirt for the village team he has always supported.”

The match will see Hurst Green FC take on a Hurst Green X1 and will take place on Sunday (May 3) at 2pm and admission is free. Any money raised will be donated to the charity of Greenwood’s choice.