ONE of football's favourite sons has officially opened a new sporting complex near Sheffield.
Former West Ham and England star Sir Trevor Brooking and RFU president John Owen were guests of honour at the launch of the new Gosforth Fields Sports Pavilion in Dronfield yesterday.
They were given a tour of the facilities at the sports site, which will be used by Dronfield Rugby Club, Dronfield Town Football Club and AFC Dronfield.
The facilities range from eight changing rooms, two rooms for officials, a first aid/physio room, car park and a full-size 3G artificial floodlit pitch.
The project, which has cost 2.3m, has been funded by Derbyshire County Council, the Football Foundation, Sport England, the Rugby Football Union and Waste Recycling Environment (WREN).
It was six years ago the three Dronfield clubs joined forces and formed the Gosforth Fields Sports Association (GFSA) in a bid to maintain and improve their facilities on the site.
The three clubs, who cater for 800 registered players, previously had portable buildings for changing rooms on the disused tennis courts before the building of their new clubhouse.
Brooking said: "The development is excellent. It has taken quite a few years to get everyone working together but they've now got quality changing rooms and social areas which is great in the long term.
"It is important that clubs have decent changing facilities. There is nothing worse, especially after the winter we have just had, than having to change in the car park or not having decent shower facilities after a game.
"I think whoever has designed the facilities has done a very good job. We can use this as an example of where a club can grow throughout a series of age groups."
Other sports which feature on the site include rugby league, archery, and rounders.
Owen, ex-RFU Council member for Cumbria and chairman of community rugby, said: "I want to thank everyone who has been involved in the project.
"This is a marvellous facility and we would like to think that this will become the focal point for the community and a great place for the family and kids to come and enjoy themselves.
"We want more people playing sport whether it is football, cricket or rugby and that is the important objective."
What do you think? Add your comments below.
Subscribe to The Star or Green 'Un
Visit our Matchday Centre for free live coverage of every match
Football headlines. Football gossip. Blades news Owls news Reds news. Millers news. More rugby. More boxing. Sports columnists.
All sport categories
Free E-Mag: Premier League 2009-10 Preview
Watch Premiership highlights, international football, golf, tennis, darts and much more - click here