KEWFORD Eagles are set to celebrate a red letter day next month with the official opening of their 30-acre site facilities in Wall Heath.

The complex in Swindon Road will include no less than 11 football pitches - making it one of the biggest of its type in the country.

Former England star Sir Trevor Brooking is set to perform the opening ceremony on Saturday April 26, which is expected to attract a crowd of several thousand.

The whole development has been 12 years in the making and Kewford's Lynn Boleyn said: "We were paying out around £50,000 a year to hire grass pitches and it was decided that we would be much better off putting the money into our own ground.

"First we had to find a suitable plot of land and then obtain all the relevant planning permission.

"At present we have the pitches, which will be ready for use in September, four changing rooms, toilets and a kitchen.

"The next phase of the development will be building a clubhouse on top of the existing facilities, which will probably be another five years down the line and expected to cost in the region of £750,000.

"It's something which we will be able to hire out to the local community.

"The final phase will be incorporating floodlit pitches - but that's in the long term.

"The facilities are not just for now - but for generations to come!

Kewford Eagles have come a long way since forming in 1978 following the amalgamation of two teams from Quarry Bank and Kingswinford.

The club can now boast a magnificent total of 550 players on its books and Lynn Boleyn admitted: "It's become increasingly difficult in recent times finding pitches for all the teams to play and train.

"We have to go all over Dudley borough to try and find pitches, mostly at schools, but it has been a struggle.

"In a way, we've bucked the trend in with so many clubs and grounds fast disappearing.

"There used to be a football and cricket ground just opposite belonging to J Hickman and Son, which is now a housing estate and it's great to feel we're replacing something that has been lost."

Anyone wishing to attend the opening ceremony must obtain a wristband by contacting Lynn on 01384 830862.