Ipswich: Culture secretary Jeremy Hunt visits Whitton United football club

IPSWICH: One of the town’s leading amateur football clubs welcomed a distinguished visitor from Westminster yesterday.

Jeremy Hunt, the Culture Secretary, visited Whitton United and was shown how recent improvements had help to transform the club.

Mr Hunt spoke to staff, players and managers at the club, based in Old Norwich Road, about a recent �7,000 make-over that enabled the club to re-vamp its clubhouse and main function room.

The work was made possible thanks to a donation from Mark Richards, who owns a number of McDonald’s franchises, who also got to meet Mr Hunt.

Mr Hunt said: “This is a great example of what a football club can do for a local community.

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“I’m told that there are 500 kids playing here every Saturday so you’re talking about a massive number of people who are involved.

“It’s important that football clubs like Whitton United continue to thrive and I’m really impressed that these donations have helped them to do so.”

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Dr Dan Poulter, MP for Central Suffolk and North Ipswich, who has previously championed the club’s need for improvements, met with Mr Hunt for dinner after his trip to the club.

Club chairman Ruel Fox, a former Norwich City and Newcastle United player, said: “It’s great that people like Mr Hunt are coming here and supporting what we’re doing – it will have a positive effect.

“We’ve got future plans to build a new stand and in the short term we aim to make the club more accessible by improving the state of its driveway.”

n How important is Whitton United to the local community? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.

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