Pitch for funding pays off for Red
A CLUB which has produced a wealth of football talent has grouds for optimism for the future.
Gateshead Redheugh 1957, which nurtured the likes of Paul Gascoigne, Don Hutchison and Andy Carroll have officially opened their new third generation (3G) artificial grass pitch - funded by a £477,011 grant from the Premier League and the FA Facilities Fund.
The ceremony took place at the club's base at Eslington Park with ex-Redheugh players Colin Symm and Alan Dowson performing the honours.
The New Pitch, which is also floodlit to increase playing time during the winter months, will help to meet local demand for year-round football facilities.
The Gateshead area is short of similar facilities, which means training and competitive matches take place on already overused pitches.
GATESHEAD REDHEUGH 1957 are an FA Charter Standard Community Club with 19 teams ranging in ages from under 7s to under 17s.
The FA Facilities Fund is delivered by the Football Foundation, the country's largest sports charity.
Since it was launched in 2000, the Foundation has supported more than 12,000 grassroots projects worth more than £1 billion
Terry Ritson, Senior sports co-ordinator at Redheugh, said "This is a really fantastic day for the club."
"It was brilliant to have Colin and Alan along to open the facility."
"Along with the opening of the clubhouse and pitch developments, we have all worked hard to develop the fantastic facilities at Eslington Park."
"We must continually thank our funding partners for making this dream become reality."
Paul Thorogood, chief executive of the Football Foundation. added: "This is an outstanding new pitch which will benefit football in and around Gateshead."
"Developing new grass-roots facilities like this is essential to increasing the number of people who can keep fit by participating in sport."