"When teams visit, they see the plaque on the wall and that he was one who opened it It's like, wow, how lucky were you."

Trevor Harvey is recalling the time when Sir Bobby Charlton came to open Sharpham Road Sports Pavilion in 2002.

Last month the footballing world was left stunned and saddened after the announcement Charlton had passed away at the age of 86.

Charlton has travelled all across the world and up and down the United Kingdom and was known for his time with Manchester United, where he spent 17 years as a player between 1956 and 1973, scoring 249 goals in 758 appearances 

He won three league titles, one FA Cup and one European Cup, where he scored two goals as captain to help the Red Devils win the crown in 1968, before holding down a role as their director from 1984 until recently.

On the international stage Charlton was also well-known being part of, so far, the only men's side to win the World Cup 1966 and becoming a worldwide name and scored 49 times in 106 internationals.

Harvey spent four years on Cheddar Parish Council on the planning committee, focused on developing the facilities at Sharpen Road and built the pavilion after applying for a government loan to pay for it.

It took about six months of planning, before the next part was to decide who would have the honour of opening proceedings.

"I happened to read about Bobby Charlton, he'd been out somewhere opening up another pavilion and I thought I'll chance my arm here," Harvey recalled.

"So, I did a bit of research and I found out the telephone number of his secretary and I gave her a ring and said who I was and what I'd like him to do and if it would be possible, she said when and I gave her sort a list of dates. she said, "I'll have a look in his diary, and we'll get back to you."

"And about a week later my phone rang and I answered it, and somebody said, "it's Sir Bobby Charlton here." And I thought, yes, go on. And he said, "oh no, it really is me," he said, "I get this a lot, people think that this is a hoax, it really is me and yes, I can come down."

"Actually, I've got another thing I've got to do in the evening there, so I'll be quite happy to come down and do it" and that's how it all came about."

The date was set for Thursday November 14, and everything was in place for Charlton to come down.

Overnight, though, there was heavy rain and the whole area flooded down near the car park and Harvey called up the council and they sent a tanker to suck up the water to make it "nice and clean" for Charlton when he arrived.

As he was leaving, Harvey saw Charlton in a passing car, who decided to venture to the pavilion early to look at the set-up – and Harvey asked him back to his house for tea and sandwiches.

"And he said, "oh, that would be lovely." So, he came back to my house," Harvey said.

"So, I had Bobby Charlton in my front room on the sofa with my wife and my kids having sandwiches and scones and cakes and everything. So, he walloped into that lot, and you sat for about an hour just talking about football.

"But what he really wax lyrical about was the youth side. He did not say much about the senior side. he took a great deal of interest in the youth side, which was quite good, because that was why he had come down to Sharpham Road because a lot of the teams down there are all youth sides. So, it's quite interesting, I was quite honoured to have Bobby Charlton in my front room."

The stage was now set as Charlton and Harvey made their way to Cheddar Sports Pavilion for the official opening, which began at 2pm in front of around 300 excited adults and children.

"We all went down to the pavilion, because it was nearly time for opening and he had a look around the pavilion and saw everything inside," Harvey added.

"Then we said we got to go outside now and do the official opening. I did my speech first, which had taken me ages to do because I did not know what to say.

"So, I thought, oh. I will do like a history for the kids because they might not realize who Sir Bobby is. I traced his career and everything that he has done and everything about how his mother was an influence on him and everything and about what Franz Beckenbauer said about him.

"When it finished, he started his speech and he said "it was like going back in time. You've told me things I'd completely forgotten, and I didn't even realise that Franz Beckenbauer had said that about me."

"So, it was quite good that he'd actually been listening to what I was saying. Then he made his speech, and everybody was just in awe of him, just every word that he said about youth football and how his career has been, and he would like to see people follow in his footsteps. Just incredible, really incredible."

Following the ceremony there was a reception at Kings of Wessex Leisure Centre at 3pm.

Harvey recalled they had forgotten to get Charlton something to thank him but added that he blown away by his generosity and how he waved away his usual appearance fee, which prompted people to come together and produce him a hamper full of food and items from Cheddar.

"One person rushed out to buy a willow basket; another went to their allotment to collect some fresh vegetables and a third bought some authentic Cheddar Gorge cheese," Harvey said.

"He was almost in tears and we said, "what's wrong, Sir Bobby", he said "do you know what, I go and open things, people give me things and to be honest I just don't know what to do with them but this is absolutely brilliant," he said.

"My wife will be absolutely chuffed to bits when I get home with this. That is an example of how down to Earth he was. He was brilliant.

"The other remarkable thing was normally you get these personalities, there's a fee, you've got to pay them a fee and everything.

"But we said to him "what can we give you apart from obviously the basket" and he said, "oh, I don't want anything, I just my petrol expenses." he said. "That's all I want he said because I was, I was down here doing this other opening."

Since the opening of the sports wing, the pavilion has gone from strength to strength with a new community wing completed in 2021 and, after two years of work done to extend it, in 2022 there was the official opening of the Cheddar Community Pavilion, providing a future and a place for sports teams players to enjoy and flourish.

"It improved the status of Cheddar for a start and it made the boys play better, because they were proud of the facilities that they had it gave them a bit more impetus rather think I've got to go down there and I can't have a shower down there," Harvey added.

"Whereas now you can get changed in nice changing rooms. We have the showers, we had a social area as well, where you could bring money into the club as well.

"So, it helped that way and now it's been extended it's even better, the facilities are even better down there but it'll still always have his plaque on the wall.

And Harvey said to have Charlton come down to Cheddar was a great privilege for both himself and the village.

"It was an absolute honour for Cheddar and even a greater honour for me," he said.

"To meet your boyhood hero and have him come to tea in your house, what more could you (want). It's a dream."