Pupils enjoy getting on the ball at new pitch

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FORMER Newcastle United and Sunderland hero Paul Bracewell was guest of honour at the official opening of Blyth School Community College’s new football pitch.

The Chase Farm Drive school’s full-size, floodlit, artificial-grass pitch was unveiled at the old Tynedale Middle School site nearby on Tuesday.

It will be used by pupils at Blyth School Community College, as well as players from Blyth Town, Blyth Rangers and Blyth Spartans.

The three clubs contributed £4,500 between them towards the cost of the pitch.

The pitch, also funded by a £131,420 grant from the Football Foundation, will allow the teams using it to increase their combined number of teams from 56 to 76 over the next five years.

Lesley Rickerby, Northumberland County Council’s executive member for children and young people and ward councillor for South Blyth, said: “This collaborative project is set to benefit thousands of young people now and in the future.

“These new facilities will provide more opportunities for people of all ages to enjoy taking part in football and other sports.

“The county council is keen to support such projects, which can have such positive effects on the general health and wellbeing of local communities.”

Bridget Knowles. headteacher at the school, added: “We are delighted to have such a fantastic facility for our students and our community.

“I am sure that this will provide an opportunity for our school teams to excel even further.”