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EDITIONS
 Friday, 3 January, 2003, 13:43 GMT
Wembley prize goes with a bang
Wembley's twin towers
Wembley is being replaced with a new 757m stadium
A Devon man has won a competition to demolish the twin towers of Wembley Stadium.

Ray Tidmarsh, from Dawlish, won the competition held by BBC Radio Five Live to press the button that will see the destruction of British football's most famous landmark.

He won the prize after a week-long competition on the station's breakfast programme in which contestants had to identify several historic events hosted at the stadium.

The 61-year-old will travel to London at the end of January to take charge of his prize.

It'll be a case of 'Ray ruins the towers'

Ray Tidmarsh
Mr Tidmarsh had to identify events including the 1948 Olympic games, the 1963 boxing match between Henry Cooper and Cassius Clay and 1985's London Live Aid charity concert.

He also had to compose a tie-breaker message to win the chance to fire the explosive and keep a souvenir piece of rubble.

Mr Tidmarsh said he was thrilled about his win.

He said: "I'm surprised at the amount of interest in it. It'll be a case of 'Ray ruins the towers'.

"But it'll be nice to be there for whatever happens."

Exhibition centrepiece

Wembley chief executive Michael Cunnah said: "When the towers come down, it will be a genuinely momentous day, marking the end of one era and the beginning of a great new one."

Wembley Stadium was constructed as the centrepiece of the British Empire Exhibition.

It took one year to build, and work was completed on 23 April 1923, just three days before the first FA Cup Final at the ground.

The old stadium is expected to be completely demolished by March.

The new 757m stadium is due to be completed by 2006.


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