There were golden smiles on the Golden Mile as hundreds of rugby fans welcomed one of world sports most iconic trophies to the region.
The William Webb Ellis cup, named after the Rugby School student who famously helped to create the sport, was on show at Blackpool Tower Ballroom on Tuesday.
It went very well indeed. We were delighted – we had about 500 people there
Former Fylde, England and British Lions captain Bill Beaumont was joined at the event by Paralympic silver medallist Shelly Woods, with rugby activites taking place on the Comedy Carpet outside the Tower.
The Rugby World Cup starts in England in September.
Organiser Mike Dickinson said: “It went very well indeed. We were delighted – we had about 500 people there.
“All of the VIPs came, including the three mayors from Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre, as well as Bill Beaumont, Shelly Woods and former Blackpool captain Jimmy Armfield.
“We had a good contingent down from Fleetwood Rugby Club, with the world cup on display for people to have pictures taken with.
“All in all it went very well.
“I was delighted with it. It has been hard work in terms of organisation but it was rewarding to see everyone there at the Tower.”
England famously won the trophy in 2003 thanks to Jonny Wilkinson’s extra time drop kick.
The visit to the region is part of a 100 day Rugby World Cup trophy tour. The trophy has already visited Scotland, Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland and Wales and is touring the country ahead of the competition’s opening ceremony on September 18.
Following its arrival in Blackpool, the trophy was taken to Scafell Pike in the Lake District, followed by Workington Rugby Club.
A Rugby World Cup spokesman said: “The Trophy Tour visited the North West following a 12-month journey around the world as part of a celebration of Rugby and marks the countdown to Rugby World Cup 2015 Opening Ceremony at Twickenham Stadium on September 18.
“The Webb Ellis Cup was in the North West for seven days, taking in iconic sites and engaging with grassroots programmes, clubs and fans.”