Football legends join 2018 bid

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The 2018 FIFA World Cup bid from England will feature David Beckham and John Barnes as vice presidents.

The FA has announced the initial vice presidents to work on England's 2018 FIFA World Cup Bid and has received the full support of its President, Prince William for the project. David Beckham and John Barnes are to join England's bid to stage the 2018 World Cup. The pair become the first vice presidents to be appointed and will support the newly formed Executive Board along with further vice presidents soon to be announced. Beckham moved above Bobby Charlton in England's all–time appearances list when he won his 107th cap in Belarus in October 2008. He now stands just one behind Bobby Moore's all–time record for an outfield player and is the only Englishman to score in the final stages of three consecutive World Cup tournaments. He is a Goodwill Ambassador for UNICEF and was awarded the OBE in 2003. Barnes won 79 caps for England after making his debut against Northern Ireland in 1983. Barnes was awarded the MBE in 1998 and is also a globally recognised figure in his role as an Ambassador for Save the Children. The announcement reflects an initial wave of ambassadorial roles as 'England 2018 Ltd' continues to prepare its bid to stage the tournament in 10 years' time. Beckham and Barnes will soon be joined by additional vice presidents who will all support and advise the bid's team and Executive Board and work closely with other stakeholders during the Bid process. It is expected that FIFA's announcement of the bid timetable will be made soon. The FA is also delighted to announce it has received the full support of its President, Prince William as it bids to bring the tournament back to England for the first time since 1966: In a message to the bid team, Prince William said: "It is with great pride that, as President of The Football Association, I offer my wholehearted support for our bid to host the World Cup Finals in 2018. Given the quality of the bid team that has been assembled, the superb facilities that we have in this country and, above all, the extraordinary passion that the English have for our national game, I am wholly confident that we will submit a truly world class bid to FIFA. " David Beckham said: "I'm proud to be part of The FA's 2018 World Cup Bid and will do everything I can to help bring the tournament to England. I was able to play my part in the successful London 2012 Olympic Bid and throughout my career have witnessed the difference sport makes to peoples lives, all over the world. I have had the privilege to play in three World Cup tournaments and it's an incredible experience. Our fans are the best in the world and they deserve to watch the greatest tournament here. " John Barnes said: "From the moment I experienced a World Cup tournament for myself in 1986, I've fully understood its unique magic so there is something very special about being part of this bid. There's a huge responsibility attached to being involved but there's also a feeling of great honour and I'm immensely proud to be part of it. There's a lot of work to do if England is to win the right to stage the tournament and as we begin the process, there will be young players across the country who dream of playing in the World Cup Final. If in some way, I can help play a part in giving them the chance to do it in their own country, it will be an achievement that will rank as high–if not higher–than anything else I achieved in the game. "FA chairman Lord Triesman said: "We are delighted Prince William has offered his full support to the bid. As President of The Football Association, he is a tremendous Ambassador for the English game and his official duties around the world will provide a natural extension to the direct work of the bid team. We are extremely honoured that he is fully behind the aim to bring the tournament back to England. David Beckham and John Barnes have been synonymous with the England team and English football across three decades and we're delighted to have them both on board. They will add experience and expertise from a football perspective and their stature around the world as representatives of the game on a world scale will be of great benefit to the bid. "

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