IslingtonTribune

The independent London newspaper

Arsenal star Robert Pires is first to try out school’s new pitch

We need to provide more places for children to play, says Gunners invincible

08 November, 2019 — By Richard Osley

ARSENAL legend Robert Pires got the first go on a primary school’s new astroturf pitch on Friday.

He cut the tape alongside former mayor Richard Cotton, who despite being a long-suffering Spurs fan turned up in red and white shirt and tie for the opening at Fleet Primary School, Hampstead.

Pires, one of the Arsenal “Invincibles” who went through a whole season undefeated and a three-time winner of the Premier League, said: “We need to work together to build as many pitches as possible in and around London. Of course, you can play football on the street, but if you have the opportunity to play football on pitches like this it is the best.”

Robert Pires, former mayor Richard Cotton and the Gunnersaurus open the new pitch with pupils at Fleet School

“It’s a better experience and maybe you can improve, maybe you can learn.”

Pires was one of the French football stars who made Hampstead their home after signing for Arsenal during former manager Arsene Wenger’s time in charge of the Gunners.

The 3G pitch, which replaces a 20-year-old surface, has been funded by the Arsenal Foundation, Camden Council, the Football Foundation and the London Marathon Charitable Trust.

As well as pupils at the school, Kentish Town FC and the Hampstead Town FC youth team will be among those who use the new facility in Fleet Road. There will be a weekend league for grassroots teams.

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