Former Newcastle United FC and England forward Peter Beardsley MBE has cut the ribbon on a new third generation (3G) artificial grass pitch at Walker Technology College.
The College worked in partnership with the Northumberland FA to secure a £102,000 grant from the Football Foundation towards the new football facility.
Peter Beardsley is widely considered one of the greatest players to have donned the black and white jersey, representing Newcastle United on 276 occasions and finding the net 108 times. He represented England in the 1986 and 1990 World Cups, as well as the 1988 and 1992 European Championships. Peter recently returned to Newcastle United to become Football Development Manager of its Academy.
After taking part in a 7-a-side tournament at the opening ceremony, Beardsley said: “It is excellent to see this new football facility become available to people studying at Walker Technology College and also those outside the college.
“The flood-lit and all-weather elements of the pitch are particularly important because, no matter what the weather is like, it gives the students somewhere to go after classes finish and do something positive.
“It is great grassroots clubs and schools have somewhere they can gain help, especially in the tough economic times, and credit goes to the Foundation’s funding partners – The FA, the Premier League and the Government – for providing the crucial cash to make this happen."
The college’s new 3G pitch will benefit both the students and wider community, with forecasts suggesting it will be used by over 1,750 people on a weekly basis.
Funded by the Premier League, The FA, and the government, the Foundation has awarded around 8,000 grants worth more than £420m towards improving grassroots sport, which it has used to attract additional partnership funding of over £520m.
Former Newcastle United midfielder and current Academy Football Coach at Walker Technology College, Stuart Elliot said: “With the help and backing of both the College itself and the Football Foundation, we will now be able to provide a fantastic new football facility, not only for the College students but the whole community.”
Paul Thorogood, Chief Executive of the Football Foundation, said: “I want to congratulate Walker Technology College and the Northumberland FA for working tirelessly to make this vision become a reality. I would also like to thank Peter Beardsley for supporting the opening event. Peter was not only a brilliantly talented player himself, he has been a great supporter of the Football Foundation and the grassroots game over the years.
“The Football Foundation is dedicated, with funding provided from the Premier League, the FA and government, to raising the standard of grassroots community sports facilities and to getting more people actively playing the national sport.”
For more information about the work the Football Foundation all over the country visit www.footballfoundation.org.uk or follow us on Twitter at http://twitter.com/FootballFoundtn.
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