Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Page 5 Page 6 Page 7 Page 8 Page 9 Page 10 Page 11 Page 12 Page 13 Page 14 Page 15 Page 16 Page 17 Page 18 Page 19 Page 20 Page 21 Page 22 Page 23 Page 24 Page 25 Page 26 Page 27 Page 28 Page 29 Page 30 Page 31 Page 32 Page 33 Page 34 Page 35 Page 36 Page 37 Page 38 Page 39 Page 40COVER STORY onsıde| ISSUE 38 15 As well as paving the way for star-studded alumni, the centre is a starting point for thousands of other local grassroots sportspeople who may not be fortunate enough to turn professional in their respective disciplines, but nevertheless play their sport purely for the love of doing so. If nothing else, these East London playing fields have kept an entire generation of surrounding communities active and healthy. The Kanes were one such family. Growing up nearby, Harry was rarely without a ball at his feet – likewise his brother Charlie – with their Mum and Dad cheering their progress from the touchline. They weren’t alone either. Hundreds of parents still do exactly the same at Peter May every weekend, many during the week too, underlining the fact that these types of facility are real community hubs. This is something that isn’t lost on Kane: “I grew up learning my football trade in this part of the world, so I know how much this new pitch will mean to the local community. This facility will inspire more people to get involved in sport.” “Grassroots football facilities, like the Peter May Sports Centre, are where a love of sport starts and for the gifted few, where careers begin. They are the golden thread that link the grassroots to the elite end of the game,” maintains Alex Welsh, London Playing Fields Foundation’s CEO and one of Kane’s first ever football coaches. Welsh is adamant: “When youngsters are playing football they need something to inspire them and in Harry’s case it was having access to a pitch, albeit not as good as the one that is there now, where he could train and play with his team mates.” Welsh has spent most of his career coaching kids, so few are better placed to provide such a forensic analysis of the grassroots game. More pitches are needed, not