Anfield legend Ian Rush has officially opened a new football facility in Hereford, funded by the Football Foundation and Partnerships for Schools.
The new state-of-the-art third generation (3G) artificial grass pitch will allow The Hereford Academy to promote and develop standards of football in the school and surrounding community.
The facility will increase the opportunities available for training and match play, therefore enabling Hinton Football Club, The Hereford Academy and other partners to deliver against the FA National Game Strategy. The project will also support plans to create 45 new football teams within local clubs in Herefordshire.
The Academy worked in partnership with Herefordshire Council and Herefordshire FA to secure a £50,000 grant from the Football Foundation. Funded by the Premier League, The FA, and the Government (via Sport England), the Football Foundation is the country’s largest sports charity. Since it was launched in 2000, 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.
John Sheppard, Principal of The Hereford Academy, said:“The Hereford Academy was fortunate to have received a grant in February 2012 towards a 3GAGP. This project has been a culmination of an effective partnership with the Football Foundation and the Hertfordshire FA, resulting in the final completion of an excellent facility for Herefordshire.
“The Hereford Academy is committed to ensuring that as many people as possible enjoy the benefits and to actively promote and develop football both at The Academy and surrounding community. We are thrilled that this is the only full size pitch of its kind in the County, and thankful to our funding partners.”
Paul Thorogood, Chief Executive of the Football Foundation, said: “I am delighted to see this tremendous new facility complete and ready for use by the local community. The dedication and hard work of The Hereford Academy and Herefordshire FA over a number of years has resulted in the successful completion of this project.
“Now the important work begins to ensure the facility remains sustainable and benefits as many people as possible.
“None of this would be possible without the crucial cash provided by our funding partners The FA, the Premier League and the Government.”
For more information about the work the Football Foundation visit www.footballfoundation.org.uk or follow us on Twitter at http://twitter.com/FootballFoundtn.
Notes to Editors
Rush moved to Liverpool, aged 19, where his name became etched in Merseyside folklore. He made 9 appearances before scoring the first of his club record 346 goals. Rush remains the record holder for the most amount of goals scored in Merseyside derbies. He went on to make 660 appearances for Liverpool and represented Wales on 73 occasions, scoring 28 goals.
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