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15 April 2008

Ahead of their 'Magic as Ever Tour' which is held at Wembley Arena on 18 May 2008, Harlem Globetrotter Advance Ambassador Eugene Edgerson today unveiled a plaque in the Square of Fame that fronts the building, celebrating the legends' long history with the world famous Arena.

The Harlem Globetrotters made their Wembley debut back on the 14th May 1951 playing their first shows at the Empire Pool and Sports Arena. The original Basketball ‘Dream Team’ became regular visitors over the following 30 years, being an annual fixture on the calendar throughout the 50s, 60s & 70s - right up until 1982.

The Ambassadors of Goodwill returned to the Arena in 2004 followed by shows at Wembley in 2005 and most recently in 2007 when they took on the New York Nationals on their Nothing Like It tour.

Much the same as in 1982, when the Harlem Globetrotters became the first sports team to earn a place along Hollywood's "Walk of Fame," the Globetrotters are the first sports team to be honoured alongside musical greats such as Madonna, George Michael, Kylie, Status Quo, Lionel Richie and Dolly Parton who have all had their handprints immortalised in the brass plaques that adorn the Square of Fame fronting the world famous Wembley Arena.

Credited with introducing most of the world to basketball, the Harlem Globetrotters were founded 82 years ago by Abe Saperstein who grew up in the East End of London before moving to New York in the 1920s.  Since then Globetrotters have played in 118 countries on six continents, entertaining over 125 million fans and crossing barriers between cultures, societies and people from all walks of life.  

Eugene Edgerson also helped in the release of 500 balloons representing the 500 wishes that this year’s nominated charity Rays of Sunshine hope to grant in 2008 with the help of the money raised by the Harlem Globetrotters.

Rays of Sunshine children’s charity is a local charity with a national impact. The charity is dedicated to granting wishes of seriously and terminally ill children between the ages of 3-18 in the United Kingdom.

Nick Shattock of Quintain Estates & Development PLC, owners of The Wembley Arena and Square of Fame said: “We are delighted to welcome the Harlem Globetrotters as the first sports team to be honoured in the Square of Fame. The Globetrotters and the Arena have been associated for more than half a century, which must constitute our longest friendship. The dedication of a plaque to the team in the Square of Fame commemorates this very special relationship and we look forward to welcoming them back to the Arena once again this May.”





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