More than a game

New Bobby Moore Sports Hub to grow the game in East London

1 Mar 2024

Anton Ferdinand and Bobby Zamora return to old turf to see how Premier League investment is helping local community

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Former West Ham United players Anton Ferdinand and Bobby Zamora were among the guests at the official opening of a new state-of-the-art community sports hub in Dagenham, London, which has received the largest-ever grant from the Premier League, The FA and the Government’s Football Foundation.

Located in Parsloes Park, the Bobby Moore Sports Hub has been funded by a £6.2million grant from the Football Foundation. The Premier League is a founding partner of the Foundation which, since 2000, has delivered more than £1bn of grants to improve grassroots facilities across the country.

The Hub features 16 grass sports pitches and three 3G pitches – one of which is a National League System stadia pitch with spectator seating used by local club, May & Baker FC.

Bobby Moore Sports Hub drone shot

Zamora, who grew up in nearby Dagenham and made 79 Premier League appearances for West Ham, said: “I used to play at Parsloes Park in my junior football days and to see the transformation that has come through this investment is absolutely incredible.

“I know how much this will mean to the local community – people are football-mad in this part of London and these quality floodlit pitches mean football can be played all year round, whatever the weather.

“All credit to the Premier League, FA and Government for investing in facilities like these across the country through the Football Foundation. It is so important to give people of all ages quality places to play the game they love, which brings so many benefits to communities nationwide.”

As well as World Cup-winning England captain and West Ham legend, Bobby Moore, the Hub pays homage to several local football legends, with pitches named after Paul Ince and Sir Trevor Brooking. The Hub is also home to the Chloe Kelly Pitch, named after the 2022 UEFA Women’s Euro winner and Manchester City winger, who grew up in London.

This investment into one of the most deprived areas of London has helped replace the old single-storey changing facilities with a new pavilion, featuring a gym, fitness studio, cafe and social area, which will provide a space for the entire local community to use and enjoy.

Bobby with kids

Premier League Chief Executive Richard Masters said: “The Premier League is proud to fund all levels of football and one of our longest-standing investments in the wider game is the development of community facilities through the Football Foundation.

“Grassroots football is the bedrock of the game, played by millions of people. Alongside The FA and Government, we have invested more than £1 billion since 2000 to improve places to play for people of all ages in every part of the country.

“The new Bobby Moore Sports Hub is an incredible facility, which will have a positive impact on the local community and enable even more people to enjoy playing the game.”

West Ham United Women’s player Hawa Cissoko was another of the guests in attendance, along with Deputy Mayor of London Joanne McCartney. The Hub will be used by the West Ham United Foundation to deliver education programmes as well training and match play for their boys’ and girls’ Academies.

Girls playing

The project has also been supported by an additional £6.1million investment from Barking and Dagenham London Borough Council and the Mayor of London, as well as a £500,000 contribution from the London Marathon Foundation.

Through the Football Foundation, the Premier League has co-funded £1.04bn of investment, providing more than 71,650 grants to improve grassroots sporting facilities and other projects to benefit the game throughout England.

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