Hundreds of people turned out in the sun on Saturday (May 26) for the official opening of the new multi-million-pound Sandbach Community Football Centre and community fun day.
The £2.2m centre is the culmination of a partnership project between Cheshire East Council, Sandbach United Football Club (SUFC) and the Football Foundation.
The ribbon was cut by Cheshire East Mayor Councillor George Walton, chairman of Sandbach United Football Club Andrew Timms and chairman of Cheshire County FA Dave Edmunds. A special commemorative plaque was also unveiled.
On hand to add a touch of Premier League glamour was Chelsea’s assistant manager, and former Crewe Alexandra manager, Steve Holland. He brought his Champions League winners medal with him – the London side recently won the tournament by beating Bayern Munich in the final.
Councillor Walton said: “It was a tremendous privilege to be involved in the opening of this centre. It is something that I have been involved with during the planning process so it was good to see the project come to fruition.
“It was a great day and the local community really came out to support this excellent new football centre.
“It has state-of-the-art facilities that will not only benefit people in Sandbach but also residents from across the south of Cheshire East.”
Andrew Timms said: “The official opening was everything we hoped for – a tremendous community event bathed in sunshine, with fun and entertainment for all ages.
“It was certainly a fitting celebration to many years of hard work by Sandbach United Football Club, Cheshire East Council and the Football Foundation.
“We can now look forward to providing health and wellbeing through participation in sporting activities to the community of Sandbach for many years to come in these superb surroundings with state-of-the-art facilities.”
Paul Thorogood, chief executive of the Football Foundation, said: “I am delighted to see this tremendous new facility complete and ready for use by the local community.
“The dedication and hard work of Cheshire East Council, Sandbach United FC and Cheshire County FA over a number of years has resulted in the successful completion of this project.
“Now the important work begins to ensure the facility remains sustainable and benefits as many people as possible.
“None of this would be possible without the crucial cash provided by our funding partners The FA, the Premier League and the Government.”