They are more used to saving souls, but yesterday two clergymen were saving shots from an England legend.

The first reverends to cross into football coaching met World Cup winner Sir Geoff Hurst in Shrewsbury.

Rev Charles Crosland and Rev Tim Smith of Claremont Baptist Church will take the FA coaching course in June before then offering free coaching sessions to their Sunday school kids.

The pair will also lead their congregation in special prayers for England to win the World Cup this summer.

Former goalkeeper Rev Crosland hopes coaching will help him net more followers.

"Churches do a huge amount of work for the community already.

"But football is such a major part of our culture that being involved with the sport really helps us reach out further," he said.

The 52 year-old Shrewsbury fan added: "We have to show that Christianity is for the whole of life, not just Sundays."

The clergymen have been invited to meet England head coach Sven Goran Eriksson in London on April 25.

Sir Geoff paid tribute to men like Rev Crosland and Rev Smith.

"Coaches do a lot of important work in the community," he said.

"Kids need to learn that rules are good and football is a great way of teaching them that."

The meeting was part of McDonald's Be Active campaign which encourages children to exercise for an hour each day. The fast food giant has funded the training of 10,000 community football coaches. ..SUPL: