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Former World Cup striker Roger Milla shares experiences at Walsall campus

By Walsall Advertiser  |  Posted: May 03, 2014

VIP visit – members of the Coeur d'Afrique foundation visit the University of Wolverhampton's Walsall campus. World Cup striker Roger Milla is pictured centre.

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A WORLD Cup legend touched down in Walsall to talk about the time he played in one of the world's most widely-viewed football events.

Former Cameroon international Roger Milla visited the University of Wolverhampton's Walsall Campus, in Gorway Road, to talk to students about his illustrious career.

"I was extremely happy to be invited to the university," he said following the event.

"Everybody was very welcoming."

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The former striker – who played in three World Cups – was one of the first African players to be a major star on the international stage.

Milla achieved stardom at 38-years-old when he scored four goals at the 1990 World Cup, which helped his team reach the quarter-finals.

He is also remembered for his trademark goal celebration of running to the corner flag and performing a dance.

Today, Milla still holds the record for the oldest player and goal scorer in a World Cup, when he appeared at the 1994 tournament – held in the USA – at the age of 42.

After retiring, Milla set up Coeur d'Afrique – a ~ foundation to help under-privileged children in his homeland.

Last year, the University of Wolverhampton sponsored a new multimedia centre in Yaoundé, which will help promote English language and ICT skills and will give children from disadvantaged backgrounds free access.

Milla, now aged 61, added: "The foundation is very pleased to be working with the University of Wolverhampton and I look forward to working with them over many years."

As part of the link-up Roger visited the University with staff from the foundation.

At the Walsall campus, Milla viewed its sports facilities, gave a talk about his career and even participated in a football match recreating the famous World Cup match in 1990 between England and Cameroon.

The foundation took time to visit Wolverhampton Wanderers, where they were treated to a tour by Chief Executive Jez Moxey of the Molineux stadium and Compton training ground.

Milla was also guest of honour at the League One match against Rotherham.

Professor Geoff Layer, vice-chancellor of the University of Wolverhampton, said it was great to welcome the international star to Walsall and said he was pleased with the existing partnership.

"Obviously, Roger is known for his feats on the football field," he added.

"I remember fondly his performances at Italia 90 and it was nice to line up alongside him on the pitch.

"But what's even more impressive is that he has chosen to use his fame to help others in his retirement.

"Millions of children in Africa don't have access to education so it is vital that foundations like C'oeur d'Afrique exist and operate.

"We are both organisations that are passionate about education and giving people opportunities to learn and advance themselves and improve their lives."

The University has built up close links with Cameroon – and in the last three years has recruited more than 120 students from the country.

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