Former Sunderland star Kevin Ball officially opens new state of the art 4G pitch at historic Ashbrooke Sports Club

A Sunderland football legend has officially opened a new 4G pitch which is part of a £100,000 investment at a Wearside Sports Club.

Friday, 10th December 2021, 8:12 pm

Former Sunderland star Kevin Ball has officially opened the 4G pitch at one the city’s oldest sporting institutions, Ashbrooke Sports Club.

The new 4G pitch is part of a £100,000 investment for the club, which also includes new floodlights.

The former Black Cats captain was on hand, along with pupils from St Aidan’s Catholic Academy who helped fundraise for the pitch, to welcome the investment to the area.

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Kevin Ball has a helping hand from St Aidan's Catholic Academy pupils (left to right) Billy Robinson, Noah Taylor and Elliot Moon to officially open the 4G sports pitch at Ashbrooke Sports Centre, Sunderland as club officials and invited guests look. Picture by FRANK REID

Ashbrooke Sports Club, in West Lawn, has a rich history in the city that dates back to 1887 and the new pitch will play a big part in the clubs future.

Commercial and Grants Manager at Ashbrooke Sports Club, Dermot Hamblin, is delighted with the benefits the pitch will bring to the club.

He said: “One of the challenges we have at Ashbrooke, like any other sport club that plays on grass, there’s certain times of the year where either the pitch is flooded or you don’t want to be on the pitch because it’s getting a bit tired, so now we’ll be able to offer all season round training and better support members which is a huge benefit.”

“It’s a really great pitch which will be well used for the variety of sports we offer at the club.”

Kevin Ball enjoyed a kickabout with Noah Taylor and Billy Robinson from St Aidan's Catholic Academy after he officially open the 4G sports pitch at Ashbrooke Sports Centre, Sunderland. Picture by FRANK REID

Dating back to 1887, Ashbrooke Sports Club has an almost 140 year history and is home to a number of sports such as bowls, cricket, hockey, rugby, running, squash and tennis, with the club hoping the pitch will allow it to further expand and develop more a relationship with the local community.

Dermot added: “It’s really important for the local community to have this kind of facility and we’re really keen to engage with the community and open it up to them.”

Future plans the club hope to introduce with the pitch include walking football and more sporting activities for the elderly in the community.

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