Former soccer stars kick start Wembley football pitches

Harlesden-born ex-Arsenal player Paul Merson lauches five-a-side centre

It was kick off for football fans as a new five-a-side centre, situated a goal kick from Wembley Stadium, was unveiled last Friday.

Sky Sports pundits Chris Kamara and Harlesden-born ex-Arsenal footballer Paul Merson opened the three acre Lucozade Powerleague venue alongside Cllr Harbhajan Singh, Mayor of Brent.

Local schoolchildren were also invited for an FA coaching session and Cllr Singh revealed a commemorative plaque to celebrate the opening.

The new centre, which is adjacent to the National Stadium, contains six pitches, changing rooms and a sports bar.

Mr Kamara, who is Football Ambassador for Carlsberg UK, said: “It is every footballer’s dream to be able to play at Wembley Stadium and these fantastic new facilities will provide the closest opportunity that many thousands of amateur players will ever get to do just that.

Powerleague, which was founded in 1983, now attracts over 130,000 visitors each year with Wembley becoming their 45th complex.

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Sean Tracey, chief executive of Lucozade Powerleague, said: “The new centre will boost the local economy by creating new jobs and we hope for the Wembley centre to become a hub for the community to gather, play a bit of football and then relax in the sports bar.”