Shaftesbury Town Council were pleased to announce Guy Ritchie as a last-minute special guest at the grand opening of the new £500k 3G football pitch last night. Hundreds of parents, football club members and town supporters showed up to watch the ribbon cutting and to celebrate the official opening of the new all-weather pitch.
The new pitch was a joint project between the town council and Shaftesbury Football Club, and creates provision for children’s football in the town for the first time, making it more accessible for the whole community. Saturday morning football is now available within walking distance of Shaftesbury town centre for over 150 children.
Guy Ritchie joked with the kids as he cut the ribbon, encouraging them that “If football doesn’t work out for you, that’s okay. You can turn into movie stars!”
Film director and local brewery owner Guy Ritchie has lived in Berwick St John, just outside Shaftesbury, since 2001 and is open about his love for the area.
As the hundreds of supporters and sponsors looked on, Ritchie’s opening speech was short, friendly and to the point as he approached the ceremonial ribbon: “It’s a great looking pitch! Thanks very much – where are the scissors?!”
Councillor Piers Brown has been a driving force behind the project, and was visibly moved as he watched the town’s youngsters play on the new pitch
“This. This is what we’ve all been working so hard for. No more Saturday mornings for parents having to find the time and resources to trek the kids out to Guy’s Marsh – now they can simply walk into town to play.”
The pitch has been self-funded, and much of the loan will be paid off by the two new long-stay car park on, and adjacent to, the site in the middle of the town. This will both help the lack of parking in the town, and also support the retail businesses.
The pitch is available to hire by anyone, and will become a town resource for more than just footballers. There have already been a lot of enquiries to rent so get in quickly before it’s fully booked!