Page last updated at 13:26 GMT, Thursday, 13 May 2010 14:26 UK

Nelson's Column lends support to 2018 World Cup bid

Nelson's Column with 'Back to Bid'' scarf
England's official bid will be taken to the FIFA president on Friday

Nelson's Column has been adorned with an official 'Back the Bid' scarf to support England for the 2018 World Cup.

The specially designed red and white scarf appeared on the 18ft (5.5m) statue of the admiral in Trafalgar Square at dawn on Thursday morning.

London Mayor Boris Johnson, chair of the London United 2018 bid, said "there could be no better advocate".

A bid delegation will take England's official bid to the FIFA president Sepp Blatter, in Zurich on Friday.

David Beckham and Wayne Rooney are among other notable figures that have already lent their support to the campaign.

One million fans have also shown their support on the official campaign website.

England 2018 vice-president John Barnes said: "Lord Nelson is a true English hero, so is the ideal man to back the bid during this hugely important week for England 2018.

"I hope people across the country will be inspired by his gesture and pledge their support to England's bid."

It is estimated that if England were to win the World Cup bid £3.2bn could be raised for the country, creating thousands of jobs.

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