This is what new £700,000 clubhouse will look like at Sheffield children’s football club where Billy Sharp played
An artist's impression of what the new £700,000 clubhouse will look like at the children’s football club which launched Billy Sharp’s career have been revealed.
Middlewood Rovers, based in Handsworth, are currently raising funds for the project which will be built at their ground off Waverley Lane.
The facility will offer purpose built changing rooms as well as social rooms which will also be available for community use and could be built by October next year if all the funding is secured.
Last week to help boost the fund, Sheffield United captain Billy Sharp returned to the club he joined as a youngster to play in a fund-raising football match.
The Blades striker found out that the club was raising money to fund the building of a new clubhouse and was only too pleased to help out.
He managed to contact former players from his time at the club as an Under 12’s player and formed an under 33’s squad which took on team made up of Middlewood Rovers trainers and coaches.
The under 33’s won the game 7-0 but it was more about showcasing the importance of grassroots football for Billy and helping to raise money for the club which was responsible for helping him to achieve so much.
Billy, who lived in Pitsmoor as child, said: “I started as a player here in the Under 8’s team and worked my way up through to the Under 12’s before I moved onto Rotherham School of Excellence.
“I will always be grateful for the help and support I received while playing for Middlewood and when I found out they needed help I was more than happy to lend a hand.
“It was great to get my old team mates together as a reunion and to help our former club out as I am passionate about grassroots football. I have two sons and am keen for them to play at this level.
“I hope the building of the clubhouse here will encourage more children to take up and enjoy the sport. Middlewood Rovers have been great to me and they also support my charity foundation so am always pleased to help them.”
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Billy’s dad Steve, who was behind his son’s move to Middlewood as a child, said: “Billy was playing in another team but was losing interest as they weren’t doing well so I looked around for another club. I came to Middlewood Rovers and was really impressed with the set up so he joined the Under 8’s team.
“I am so pleased to see him take part in a match helping out his old club. I am as proud of Billy not losing touch with his roots and helping out others as I am of his footballing achievements.”
Middlewood Rovers are hoping to secure a grant from the Football Foundation to help finance the project.
They are also hoping to receive some funding from other local community projects. The club now are trying to raise the final amounts towards the build.
If all goes to plan the building of the clubhouse could start in May next year.
Chris Dennison, chairman at Middlewood Rovers said: “It was Billy’s home-coming and we were delighted to have him back.
“He was so keen to help out when he found out about the fund-raising and quickly got the old team together.
“It is great for young players to see him at a match like this as it inspires them to either take up football or carry on progressing - they can see how far he has got and they know anything is achievable.”
“It it a really exciting project which will benefit the whole community so we are keen to secure the funding as soon as we can.”
Anyone who would like to help Middlewood Rovers can do so by going on their GoFundMe page which is HERE