Sharpy Hits Legendary Landmark
Former Blues striker visited the Great Wall of China recently.
Everton legend Graeme Sharp and former Academy manager Ray Hall visited the famous Great Wall of China earlier last month as they concluded a Club trip to Beijing.
The pair were out in the Far East to launch Football Dream, a new sports entertainment television show which will air across the country later this year.
After four days of non-stop filming for the programme, a talent competition in which contestants showed off their skills in a bid to earn a trip to either Everton's Finch Farm training ground or the Ajax Academy in Amsterdam, the project's production crew opted to turn attention from the football field to one of the country's most iconic landmarks.
Building of the protective wall, which starts just north of the Chinese capital, began in 500BC, with estimates suggesting it once stretched as far as 13,000 miles.
Sharpy and Ray were joined on the expedition by a number of Football Dream's teenage hopefuls, some of whom can now look forward to their own adventure either in the Netherlands or the UK.
The group took in a two-mile section of the mammoth structure before embarking on the quickest route down - a break-neck speed toboggan run.
"You hear so much about it, you read things about it, but to actually be here and see the true size, it's an incredible feat," said Sharpy. "It's something that's been standing for so long and it's been a privilege to see it."
Sharpy was part of an Everton team, headed by first-team star Marouane Fellaini, which visited six Chinese cities last year to identify the 60 players who would attend the show's Beijing boot camp.
While taking part, the Blues legend has held a panda in Chengdu, dressed up as a Terracotta Warrior in Xi'an and climbed to the very top of the tallest building in Shanghai.
"In all the cities we've visited the organisers have been very good and tried to show us a part of the history of China," Sharpy explained. "All the cities we've visited have been excellent and each has offered something we've never seen before.
"To get the privilege to come here and visit these sites and visits these cities, it's been an amazing experience.
"The most important thing though is the kids. They're going to get the opportunity now to come over to visit Everton Football Club and we'll hopefully be able to look after them as well as we've been looked after over here, and I'm sure they'll have a wonderful experience.
"They're going to experience something they've never experienced before in their lives.
"They're actually coming to a professional football club in the English Premier League. It's the best league in the world and they'll get to see how it's done.
"We've got some boys coming over from Shanghai, Liverpool as a city is twinned with Shanghai, so that's an added bonus.
"And we'll make sure we give the boys an experience they'll never, ever forget."