Former Norwich City star Dion Dublin lights up Norwich at festive switch on

Former Canaries' striker Dion Dublin brought some festive fun to Norwich last night as he switched on the city centre's Christmas lights.

The popular former striker had the honour of pushing down the all-important plunger at the Christmas lights switch-on event in front of about 1,200 people.

The crowd in front of City Hall counted Dion down to zero and at 7pm he brought light to the streets of Norwich, with bright colours illuminating the city centre streets.

Bursts of fireworks from the top of City Hall and the Jarrold's store on Exchange Street added to the fun, drawing big cheers from hundreds of families who had come to join the fun.

The event had been organised by Norwich City Council's events and culture team and was supported by the Norwich Evening News, BBC Radio Norfolk, Jarrold's and Virgin Money.

Radio Norfolk's Chris Goreham led the way on the night with a rendition of Christmas carols, saying: 'It's my pleasure to be involved here tonight and it is tremendous to see so many of you here.'

Mr Goreham was joined by Father Christmas himself, as festive music continued to set the tone in the background.

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A fire performer then took to the steps of City Hall to wow the crowds with a performance set to the music of The Snowman, before an inflatable snowball fight broke out.

This proved very popular with children hoisted on their parents' shoulders, one very large snowball in particular bringing screams of delights.

The Rev Janet Wyer, associate priest at St Peter Mancroft church, then gave a blessing before the evening's celebrity guest emerged to cheers from Canaries' fans.

Dion Dublin had accompanied more than 50 year seven students from the Hewett School on a candle-lit procession travelling up from Bishopgate, via London Street. The procession featured paper lanterns, stilt walkers, a band and a choir. Once they arrived, Dion joked: 'I think that's the biggest cheer I've ever got from a crowd in Norwich!' He went on to tell the appreciative crowd: 'I played for 22 years and eight clubs, and I can say hand on heart that you [Norwich City fans] were the most sincere.

'So thank you for cheering me on and looking after me.' Then with a great big smile Dion pushed down the plunger to turn on the Norwich Christmas lights and held his arms aloft as the fireworks were released into the clear night sky.

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