New £13 Million Sports Hub In East London

The Bobby Moore Sports Hub, featuring pitches named after Sir Trevor Brooking, Paul Ince and Chloe Kelly, has opened in Dagenham, thanks to the largest ever grant from the Premier League, The FA and Government’s Football Foundation.

Located in Parsloes Park, the Hub features 16 grass sports pitches and three 3G pitches – one of which is an impressive National League System stadia pitch with spectator seating used by local club May & Baker FC.

These multi-million-pound facilities have been funded by a £6.2 million grant from the Football Foundation – the largest ever grant awarded by the charity. This investment adds to the more than £1 billion grant funding awarded by the Foundation over the last 23 years to improve grassroots facilities across the country.

The project has also been supported by an additional £6.1 million investment from Barking and Dagenham Council and a further £1m contribution from the Greater London Authority and the London Marathon Foundation.

As well as World Cup-winning England captain and West Ham United legend, Bobby Moore, the Hub pays homage to several local football legends, with pitches named after Paul Ince and Sir Trevor Brooking – both of whom grew up within a stone’s throw of the site.

The Hub was opened by several past and present West Ham United players, including WSL defender Hawa Cissoko, academy graduate Anton Ferdinand and Barking-born Bobby Zamora.

This project is part of the Football Foundation’s Hubs programme, which has already seen 21 multi-pitch sites open across the country. Over the next 12 months, an additional three Hubs are due to open to provide safe, accessible and quality facilities for people to come together and play sport.

Robert Sullivan, Chief Executive of the Football Foundation said: “This fantastic new Hub will not only provide a huge boost to community sport in the area but will also have a transformative impact on physical and mental wellbeing, bringing people together and strengthening the local community here in Dagenham.

“We hope this Hub will not only honour the legacy of several legendary local footballers, but also continue to inspire people of all identities, abilities and backgrounds to lace up their boots.

“Thanks to the investment we receive from our funding partners, the Premier League, The FA and Government, the Football Foundation is working to deliver more Hubs like this across the country so that everyone can have access to great places to play.”

The Hub is also home to The Chloe Kelly Pitch, named the 2022 UEFA Women’s EUROs-winning Lioness and Manchester City forward, who grew up in London. As well as inspiring local women and girls to lace up their boots, this pitch will host female-only tournaments and teams through local grassroots football teams and schools.

Chloe Kelly, Manchester City player and England International, said: “Some of my best memories of football were made playing in cages as a kid with my friends in London.”

“I wouldn’t be the player I am today without the experience of growing up in this city so it really means a lot to me that more local girls will have a great place to play where they feel welcome and hopefully inspired too.

“To have all this happen on a pitch named after me is a real honour and I’d like to give a massive thanks to the Premier League, The FA and Government’s Football Foundation for honouring the whole squad’s achievements in this way.”

Councillor Darren Rodwell, Leader of Barking and Dagenham Council, said: “I’m so proud to see this multi-million pound project come to life for the benefit of local people.

“Barking and Dagenham has a rich, historic connection to football. As we celebrate the opening of this brilliant state-of-the-art facility, it’s important we remember the achievements of our borough’s home-grown sporting legends.

“We’re the birthplace of England’s only World Cup winning manager and captain, Sir Alf Ramsey and the one and only Bobby Moore. The Dagenham Invincibles were the greatest women’s football team of World War One – they never lost a single match! Jack Leslie started his remarkable career at Barking FC and broke boundaries as the first ever black player to be called up for England. The list goes on.

“I hope this fantastic space provides the opportunity to break down barriers and unlock even more sporting successes for generations to come – right here in the borough.”

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “London is the sporting capital of the world and it’s great to see the Bobby Moore Sports Hub open its doors in Dagenham.

“Bobby Moore is one of London’s greatest sportsmen, so it is truly fitting to see him remembered in a space where generations of young talent will come to hone their skills and communities can come together, as we continue to build a better London for everyone.”

Charles Johnston, Trustee of the London Marathon Foundation, said: “Our vision is to Inspire Activity, by funding inclusive projects that support people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities to lead active and healthy lives. “It’s fantastic to see the Bobby Moore Sports Hub now open in Dagenham, with a range of facilities for all the community to use – from football pitches to a state-of-the-art gym – so more people can support their health and wellbeing through a variety of physical activities.”

The opportunity to develop the scheme was identified by the strategic partnership held between Essex County Football Association and Barking and Dagenham Council, who worked with the Football Foundation and other partners to deliver the Hub. Essex County FA will be using the site to host Coach and Referee Education & Development Opportunities.

Brendan Walshe, CEO of Essex County FA, said: “Essex County FA are delighted to have been able to work strategically with Barking and Dagenham Council to enable a significant grant from the Football Foundation. We worked closely with the Council through the project timeline and seconded an Essex FA employee to undertake critical community engagement and feasibility work.

“We congratulate all the partners on the ambition to deliver this high-quality Hub and the opportunity it provides to the local community to continue to enhance the rich football history and talent that this local area has. We also warmly thank all the volunteers from the local grassroots community whose commitment and dedication to provide local participation opportunities, through the clubs and leagues, has made the vision of this Hub a reality, and look forward to working with all the partners and grassroots community to enhance participation across all areas of the game for the future.

“We look forward to continuing our work with our Local Authorities and the Football Foundation to improve the grassroots football facility network across the county.”
This investment has helped replace the old single storey changing facilities with a new pavilion, featuring a gym, fitness studio, café, social space and meeting rooms, which will provide a space for the entire local community to use and enjoy. These facilities will be used by the West Ham United Foundation to deliver education, development and community programmes.

Joseph Lyons, CEO of the West Ham United Foundation, said: “We are delighted to see the opening of The Bobby Moore Sports Hub – a great venue for the local community to enjoy.

“Not only does the Hub recognise some of our greatest ever players by honouring Bobby Moore and Sir Trevor Brooking, but this facility will be utilised as a key site for the work of the West Ham United Foundation.

“We have been collaborating with the venue for some time through our football development provision and we are confident this development will continue to support our work and help thousands of young people engage in activities that enable them to fulfil their potential on and off the pitch.”

The Hub will be operated by the charity, Leisure United on behalf of the National Football Trust itself a registered charity. All surplus income generated by the new Hub will be re-invested back into grassroots football in the area, helping to create a sustainable future for the sport.

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