Thursday, October 25, 2012

NFL Stars Marcel Dareus, Stevie Johnson and Kelvin Shepard roll into Stratford Westfield City

Emdad Rahman

I think I may have met my match as I came face to face with a 6’3, 331 pounds Juggernaut and his little friends.

Buffalo Bills Defender Marcell Dareus was the main attraction as fans flocked to see the NFL superstar. Dareus was joined by teammates Stevie Johnson and Kelvin Sheppard during a quick visit to Westfield Stratford City.

Dareus, who cites the H1 Hummer as his favourite mode of transport was impressed with the large numbers of visitors in attendance - "It's nice to see fans coming to see us. I hear that a lot of people today took time off work to come see us and I thank them for that." On the day the Buffalo defensive tackle reaches his A Game there aren't many who can stop the 22 year old from handing out custom shuddering blocks and bonecrunching tackles.

Dareus has faced heartbreak during his quest to reach the pinnacle. His younger brother Simeon Gilmore was one killed during a triple homicide in a suburb of Birmingham, Alabama last month.

Last month Receiver Stevie Johnson,  coached by Coach LeVon Haynes and drafted by the Buffalo Bills in the seventh round of the 2008 NFL Draft successfully returned from a nagging groin injury. In 2009 he recovered from a rib injury. He said: "London is a great City. It's warm, energetic and you people sure know how to welcome guests."

Both were joined by jovial 6'2 Middle Linebacker Kelvin Sheppard who wished everyone good luck for the International Series game at Wembley. The 2012 NFL International Series game at Wembley Stadium will take place on Sunday 28th October and sees the St Louis Rams take on the New England Patriots. The Rams are the designated home team for this fixture with the Patriots, led by Quarterback, Tom Brady, will be the "road team" on what will be their second appearance in an NFL London game. The first time that New England played at Wembley was back in 2009 when they beat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 35-7.

The trio made a stop at JD Sports in Westfield Stratford City courtesy of New Era, the international lifestyle brand with an authentic sports heritage that dates back over 90 years. Best known for being the official on-field cap for Major League Baseball and most recently, The National Football League, New Era is the brand of choice not only for its headwear collection, but also for its accessories and apparel lines for men, women and youth.

Celebrations included an in-store autograph signing session. There was also a live appearance and performance from NFL’s St Louis Rams’ cheerleading team, who are in London for the International Series game.

JD Sports hosted an online ballot and one lucky winner discovered a pair of golden tickets hidden in one of the 100 gift bags that were distributed at the JD Sports store. The prize was two premium club level tickets for the International Series game at Wembley, as well as two nights accommodation in London and £200 spending money.

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