Sunderland star Luke O’Nien impressed with Beacon of Light upgrade

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The new rooftop pitch is quite something

Bob Murray meets an impressed Luke O'Nien at The Beacon of Light.Bob Murray meets an impressed Luke O'Nien at The Beacon of Light.
Bob Murray meets an impressed Luke O'Nien at The Beacon of Light.

Sunderland footballer Luke O’Nien joined Sir Bob Murray at the Beacon of Light to mark the unveiling of the improved rooftop pitch.

Significant investment has helped upgrade the playing surface using leading edge turf technology, catering to the needs of budding footballers.

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The Beacon has six outdoor pitches and an indoor arena, but the rooftop pitch is the a highly sought-after space to play football. It is used by countless local teams of all ages and anyone can book the pitch for use.

The renewal and upgrade of the pitch was undertaken by SportEx Group, along with their artificial grass partners, Greenfields.

The team had to remove panels from the roof to gain access to take out the old turf and completely resurface the pitch, with the old turf taken away for recycling by SportEx.

Sir Bob, the visionary behind the Beacon of Light, was on hand to show Luke around the community hub, as well as the new pitch.

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An impressed Luke O’Nien said: “It’s an amazing facility. People in Sunderland are very lucky to have something like the Beacon on their doorstep.

“I’ve been to the Beacon many times. I’ve played badminton, had the little one across to join in activities and it’s great to see it so busy.

“It’s also reassuring to know how important it is to the people that made it possible, through their continuous investment and desire to keep up with other facilities.”

Former SAFC chairman Sir Bob said: “Ensuring our facility is leading edge is paramount to our mission at the Beacon of Light.

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“It’s not just about providing a space for activities it’s also about creating an environment where people of all ages can thrive and enjoy being active.

"It is very important to us and means a great deal that immense players like Luke come the Beacon of Light and personally commit their time to actively support us in activities from grassroots football to learning to cook or gaining new skills."

The Beacon of Light first opened its doors in 2018 and celebrated its sixth birthday last weekend.

You can find out what's on each week by checking the Beacon of Light’s website.

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