WORLD CUP fever took hold at a Darlington shopping centre yesterday (Saturday, June 14).

Visitors were encouraged to kick off their day with a penalty shoot-out staged in the middle of the Cornmill Shopping Centre.

To mark the FIFA 2014 World Cup Brazil, a four-metre high interactive simulator was set up in the centre.

Shoppers were invited to compete for prizes in a penalty shoot-out, which saw players kick a real ball at an on-screen goal with hi-speed cameras measuring distance, speed, number of shots and goals scored.

Giving out goodies instead of red cards, two referees were on hand throughout the afternoon.

The refs distributed a host of freebies including Brazil and England thermal mugs and drinks bottles, England hats, glasses, chocolates and beer buckets.

Centre manager Susan Young said: “There’s no greater sporting event than the World Cup, so we thought we’d show our support for England’s bid by bringing a taste of ‘the beautiful game’ into Cornmill for the day.”