Surrey Heath football fans enjoyed a treat at Frimley Lodge Park on Monday 30 March, as the launch of its excellent new 3G pitch featured a guest appearance from ex-England international Tony Cottee.
The former West Ham United, Everton and Leicester City striker hosted the event in front of an excited audience before getting involved in a penalty shootout and a separate masterclass session with young players from Surrey Heath clubs, led by a Fulham FC coach.
Cottee, who scored an impressive 293 goals in 712 appearances in all competitions and who currently works as a Sky Sports football pundit, also led a question and answer session and signed autographs and photos at the event for the public.
Built FIFA compliant as a professional playing field and helping 1000s of visitors stay active and healthy all year round, the 3G pitch - funded by Surrey Heath Borough Council - was completed in early 2015, enabling several months play before the forthcoming 2015/16 football season.
Visitors also got to see the facility’s synthetic turf, which generates a higher standard of play than a traditional all-weather pitch, offering a long artificial grass blade and rubber crumb base to more accurately reflect the roll and bounce of natural grass.
The full-sized all-weather pitch is available for hire by schools and local football and rugby clubs; plus general hire during evenings, weekends and school holidays.
Surrey Heath Borough Council’s Executive Head of Business, Leigh Thornton, said: “It was great to see such a positive turnout for the event and a privilege to have an inspiring ex-pro like Tony Cottee offer his time to both young players from local clubs and to members of the public who attended.
“I am delighted that so many visitors will be able to enjoy this state-of-the-art facility, which is also a fantastic addition to Surrey Heath’s flagship open space, Frimley Lodge Park.
“The 3G pitch will provide a valuable space for the borough’s many sports teams of all ages and will help them keep fit and active, while allowing them to enjoy a premium sporting facility.”
For more information on the 3G pitch’s availability and on how to book, please email the council’s Business Services team on firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 01276 707338.