Dagenham community football club set for £1.5million redevelopment

An artists' impression of how the site will look

An artists' impression of how the site will look - Credit: Archant

Christmas is set to come early for a Dagenham community football club with a new £1.5million redevelopment.

The plans including the three new pitches (left)

The plans including the three new pitches (left) - Credit: Archant

Dagenham United’s players are forced to change in often-vandalised huts, but plans to transform their Manor Road pitches could get the final go-ahead from the council this week.

The Manor Road pitches as they appear today

The Manor Road pitches as they appear today - Credit: Archant

The new development, set to open late April 2014, will feature three new floodlit state-of-the-art artificial pitches, two seven-a-side and one for the eleven-a-side game.

Presently the club has 27 teams, male and female, sharing its three grass pitches – a seven a-side, nine-a-side and eleven-a-side, plus a 100x90m training area.

The plans have been in the pipleline for more than 18 months, but, subsequent to the council signing-off a new lease, the club are ready to start work.

Club secretary Keith Rothon, 52, of Manor Road, has spent much of his life involved with the club and insists it would make the perfect Christmas present.

“It will be like the big red man’s visited us early,” he said. “As a group we’re all massively excited.

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“It’s been a long time coming and this is something that will benefit the whole community.”

Originally founded as an under-11s side in 1961, the club has grown, with the likes of former England captains Tony Adams and John Terry among its former players.

The project will be financed by Richard Hipkiss and his company, Academy of Dreams, who describes it as a “great story for local football”.

The pitches could also be used by local BTEC students and potentially provide local Premier League sides with a base to train coaches.

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