Arsenal and England player attends launch of new grounds in Neasden

New facility means footballers, cricketers and basketball players have a comfortable environment

An Arsenal and England left-winger football star witnessed the kick start of a new chapter for a recreational ground in Neasden.

Rachel Yankey MBE, who was also a player in team GB at the London Olympics, attended the official opening of a pavilion and Multi-Use Games Area (MUGA) at Gibbons Recreational Ground in Bridge Road.

The 32-year-old sportswoman from Queen’s Park, gave out footballing tips to pupils from nearby Brentfield and Mitchellbrook Primary School during the launch.

The new facility means that Gibbons Wreckers FC, who are based at the site, South Hampstead Cricket Club and basketball club Reach & Teach, can now have a comfortable environment in which to meet and change before and after their matches and training.

Gibbons Wreckers FC worked in partnership with the Middlesex FA to secure a �363,000 grant from the Football Foundation towards developing the pavilion and MUGA.

CllrRuth Moher, deputy leader of Brent Council, who cut the ribbon for the facility, said: “It will benefit the local community for many years to come and I would like to pay tribute to everyone from the Football Foundation, the council and the local community for all their hard work in bringing this project to such a successful conclusion.”

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The Football Foundation is funded by the Premier League, The FA, and the Government (via Sport England).

Paul Thorogood, Chief Executive of the Football Foundation, said: “This project in Neasden is a wonderful example of what the Football Foundation is doing all over the country. The Foundation, with the crucial support of our funding partners the Premier League, The FA and the Government (via Sport England), is transforming the grassroots landscape in this country.”