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Monday, May 10, 1999 Published at 20:51 GMT 21:51 UK


Hoddle poses with disabled group

It was Hoddle's first public appearance since he was sacked

Former England football manager Glenn Hoddle, sacked after making comments about disability, has met residents of a disabled community.

BBC Newsroom South-East reports on Hoddle's visit to Norwood Ravenswood
It was Hoddle's first public appearance since the furore over his controversial departure.

The former footballer lost his job after saying that disabled people were paying for sins committed in a former life.

During the visit to Norwood Ravenswood in Crowthorne, Berkshire, he inspected leisure facilities and met members of the community's special Olympic team.

[ image: The former England manager gave autographs]
The former England manager gave autographs
He shook hands, signed autographs and spoke to disabled residents.

But he would not be drawn on his infamous comments, saying the important thing was raise public awareness.

"The fact that you guys are here - it's not on my agenda," he told reporters.


Hoddle later said he was impressed with what he had seen on his visit.

"The spirit of the people is uplifting," he said. "It's lovely to see and I didn't even realise it was here even though I live locally. Now we know it's on the map I'm sure we can help out."

Helen Sinclair, of Norwood Ravenswood, explained the reason for Hoddle's visit. "When he made the comments about disabled people it put him in the spotlight which is why we invited him," she said.

Hoddle said he would return and may help with fundraising.

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