Archbishop Nichols meets football hero Fernando Torres


Football enthusiast Archbishop Vincent Nichols met Fernando Torres, the prolific Liverpool and Spanish International striker before the Liverpool in Aston Villa match at Villa Park in Birmingham on Sunday.

After a hard fought 0-0 draw, Archbishop Nichols said: "As a life-long supporter of Liverpool Football Club I was delighted to meet Fernando Torres, a player with great skills. On the football pitch he doesn't retaliate or quit. I encouraged him to be a great role model for his many young fans throughout Europe."

Fernando Torres scored the Spanish goal during the final of Euro 2008 played in Vienna on Sunday 29 June. Spain beat Germany 1-0.

Austria Post and OeSD, the Austrian State Printing House, printed the world's fastest postage stamp in just 1 hour 25 minutes and this achievement has now been recognised by Guinness World Records.

The first sheet of ten special "UEFA Euro 2008 Champion - Spain" commemorative stamps was sold from the counter of an Austria Post Philatelic Shop, situated near St Stephen's Cathedral in the heart of the Austrian capital - only two hours five minutes after the final whistle of Euro 2008.

The Archbishop of Birmingham added: "Having a Guinness World Record that connects football and postage stamps shows how football is important to the world of stamps and stamp collecting."

Fernando Torres agreed to have his picture taken with Archbishop Nichols holding a sheet of the special stamps: "GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS - FASTEST PRINTING OF A POSTAGE STAMP".

Torres also autographed a sheet for this correspondent who conceived the world-record idea for Austria Post. The football star also accepted an engaging philatelic memento of Euro 2008, successfully co-hosted by Austria and Switzerland.

Fernando Torres became Liverpool's record signing in July 2007 when he arrived from Atletico Madrid, the club he had supported as a boy. He scored 33 goals for Liverpool in all competitions during the 2007-08 season - the highest total ever scored by a foreigner in a debut season in England.

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