The National Football Museum in the Urbis building, Manchester, has opened its doors to the public for the first time today (6 July 2012).
Legends of the game Sir Geoff Hurst, Sir Bobby Charlton and Sir Trevor Brooking all made an appearance at the opening of the museum, which houses the biggest collection of football memorabilia ever assembled - with more than 140,000 objects.
The new museum opens in time for the Olympics, which will see thousands of sports fans descend on Manchester.
Nearby Old Trafford will play host to some of world football's biggest names during the Games, with Great Britain, Brazil and Spain all drawn to play men's group-stage fixtures in Manchester.
Councillor Rosa Battle, Executive Member for Culture and Leisure, said: "This is a city with football in its DNA so I'm sure there will be huge interest in the National Football Museum, both here and further afield.
"It's going to be another Manchester must-see, adding to our illustrious list of attractions and wowing visitors. With free admission, and a huge range of exhibits and interactives, it's also going to be a great option for a family day out during the school summer holidays.
"You don't even have to be a huge football fan to enjoy this museum, which explores the rich culture around the game as well as memorable on-pitch moments."
National Football Museum Director Kevin Moore said: "We're proud to be opening an international visitor attraction in the heart of this footballing city.
"Our new museum will provide visitors with a unique opportunity to get up close and personal with the most impressive collection of football exhibits ever assembled."
Highlights of the collection include the ball used in the 1966 World Cup Final, a shirt from the world's first international football match in 1872 and the shirt worn by Diego Maradona in the infamous 1982 'Hand of God' World Cup quarter final between England and Argentina (left).
Recently added exhibits include the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup and the shirt worn by referee Howard Webb MBE when he officiated the 2010 World Cup Final.
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