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    Big names out in support of 2018 bid

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    ODN

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    Wayne Rooney, Rio Ferdinand and World Cup final referee Howard Webb joined forces earlier to impress Fifa's inspectors of the widespread support for the bid to bring the 2018 tournament to England.


    Webb welcomed the six-man Fifa team to the City of Manchester Stadium before Rooney and Ferdinand joined Sir Alex Ferguson and Sir Bobby Charlton to guide them around Old Trafford - both stadiums are proposed 2018 World Cup venues - on the penultimate day of their visit.


    Rooney, an official bid ambassador, said: "I believe we would be fantastic hosts. I'm hoping I'll still be at the top of my game in 2018 and would love to play World Cup football in front of a home crowd.


    "It would be my last World Cup, probably, my last opportunity to play in a World Cup, and there would be no better place to be than in England - but it still seems a long way away.


    Sir Bobby, who was part of England's last bid - the unsuccessful campaign for the 2006 tournament, admitted the prospect of World Cup matches at Old Trafford would be emotional.


    He said: "I was pleased we were able to bring the inspectors to see a ground which has produced so many great moments. When I walk on the pitch and think of the generations of fans that have been here through the years, cheering on some of the best players the world has ever seen, it is hard not to get emotional."