SOCCER celebrity Sir Trevor Brooking got the ball rolling when he officially opened Kewford Eagles new state-of-the-art football facilities in Wall Heath last Saturday.

Huge crowds descended on the Swindon Road site where celebrations went on throughout the day.

Brooking, the FA's director of football development, unveiled the 30-acre facility and then kicked off proceedings for a celebratory game between Kewford's Under 17 and 18 sides.

The entire project, which has cost over £1million, has taken 12 years of planning and now provides Kewford with 11 pitches plus four changing rooms, kitchen and toilet facilities.

Much of the money to develop the site was provided with an £800,000 grant from the Premier League and the FA Facilities Fund.

An additional £50,000 was also awarded to the project by Sport England's Protecting Playing Fields scheme.

Since forming in 1978, Kewford Eagles have expanded to the point where they provide regular football for over 550 youngsters, making them one of the biggest clubs in the country.

Sir Trevor said: "By developing facilities such as this one, the Premier League and the FA Facilities Fund is not only increasing participation at the grassroots level of our national game, but also supporting the development of home grown talent."

Lynn Boleyn, a charity trustee and one of the driving forces behind Kew ford Eagles, added: "This will provide a fantastic sporting facility for generations of children to come.

"We are extremely grateful to have received financial support from the Premier League and the FA Facilities fund for making our dreams a reality.

"I also want to put on record our thanks and appreciation to the Football Foundation in particular, for the lengths that they went to in order to make this happen for us - helping us secure funding that is far in excess of grants they normally award.

"Kewford Eagles is a community club providing football for all - regardless of age or ability. Our volunteers give up many hours every week to help manage and coach teams and provide good, healthy exercise for the children where they make friends to last a lifetime."