Alresford: Former England goalkeeper Peter Shilton opens village’s new sports pavilion

ENGLAND’S most capped footballer Peter Shilton delighted an Essex village by opening its �250,000 sports pavilion.

The goalkeeper, who played 125 times for his country, unveiled the pavilion and village hall extension in Alresford near Colchester.

The pavilion in Ford Lane now features changing rooms, showers and toilets and the revamped hall has storage space for equipment used by the youth club and other regular users.

Ernie Osborne, chairman of Alresford Parish Council, said it was a coup for the village to attract Shilton to yesterday’s unveiling.

He added: “My vice chairman Frank Belgrove approached Peter’s agent and asked if he’d like to come along and to our surprise he said he’d love to.

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“He loved the pavilion - like every footballer he started from the bottom and worked his way up.

“He’s been in the game for many years and he has not forgotten its roots.

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“He was sympathetic to what the village has achieved.”

Shilton, who was yesterday celebrating his 63rd birthday, was joined at the opening by around 300 people.

Funds for the �250,000 project came from several organisations including Essex Environmental Trust, Essex County Council, Tendring District Council and the Garfield Weston Trust.

The Football Stadia Improvement Fund and The Veolia Environmental Trust awarded grants of �50,000 and �39,500 respectively, with the latter made through the Landfill Communities Fund.

The building is home to Alresford Colne Football Club and is also a popular venue for a wide range of activities including a youth club, keep fit classes, Tiny Tots and the village’s horticultural society.

Executive director of The Veolia Environmental Trust, McNabb Laurie, said: “This project is an excellent example of how the Landfill Communities Fund and ourselves can help make community projects happen.

“I hope the new hall and pavilion is used and enjoyed by all for many years to come.”

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