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Arsenal legends help Maccabi London Lions mark opening of Alpha Stadium at Rowley Lane

Arsenal legends help Maccabi London Lions mark opening of Alpha Stadium at Rowley Lane

Actor Ralf Little played at the Maccabi London Lions opening

Former Arsenal FC players Chris Whyte and Jimmy Carter, as well as actor Ralf Little, played against Maccabi London Lions FC recently (Thursday 24 September 2015) in a celebratory match that marked the official completion of £186,592 ground improvement works. 

The ground upgrade includes new floodlights, turnstiles, standing areas for fans, pitch perimeter fencing and changing room improvements. All this was made possible thanks to a £86,592 grant from the Premier League, through the Football Stadia Improvement Fund (FSIF).

The FSIF-funded works are part of the club’s wider stadium development, which includes the new Alan Mattey Stand, funded through donations from the Mattey family. Both the new stand, and the FSIF-funded improvements, which make up the new Alpha Stadium at Rowley Lane, were opened on Thursday. 

Funded with £5.2m each year from the Premier League, the FSIF is the country’s largest provider of grants towards projects that help improve the comfort and safety of lower league football grounds in both the professional and amateur game. These improvements range from new football stands and turnstiles to floodlighting and improved provision for disabled supporters.

Chris Whyte, former Arsenal player, said: “It was great to attend the opening of these stadium improvements at Maccabi London Lions. The works carried out by the FSIF have made a huge difference to the club, and I very much enjoyed playing in the match. It’s good to see money from the Premier League being injected into clubs like this, and thanks must go to them and the FSIF for the funding that made this project a reality.”

Andrew Landersberg, Chairman and Head of Football at Maccabi London Lions, said: "Thursday was a dream come true, when the Alpha Stadium and Alan Mattey Stand was officially opened. We are so proud at what has been achieved, with the unbelievable support of the Football Stadia Improvement Fund and especially Leanne Mattey and her family.

“For so many people at Maccabi London Lions, Alan Mattey was and is what we all stand for, he was a very unique and special man, and a person everybody truly loved. His two sons, Daniel and Jack, were in the starting team to face the Arsenal XI and we know he was watching. Alan was a huge Tottenham supporter. We sincerely thank the Arsenal team for agreeing to be our guests on this special night.

"This project was finished in good time with the help of a great building and project team, and the tremendous support of the MLB Management. The stadium, the stand, the floodlights and the entire project has lifted the club to another level, and has inspired the next generation of Alan Matteys. There isn’t a player, parent, coach or manager who isn’t inspired by this fantastic project. We sincerely thank the FSIF for their tremendous support and guidance and of course Leanne Mattey and her special family.”

Peter McCormick OBE, Chairman of the Football Stadia Improvement Fund, said: “The improvements made to Maccabi London Lions’ ground are a pertinent example of the commitment the Premier League has to supporting clubs at all levels of the football pyramid.

“It is great to see so many former professional players giving up their time to support the lower levels of the game. This development at the club’s Rowley Lane home will make a huge difference for the fans and players, and I wish London Lions all the best for the season ahead and beyond.”

ENDS

Photos courtesy of Marc Morris Photography

For more information contact:
- Andrew Landesberg on 07970 880 779 or andrew@landesberg.co.uk
- Alice Sherritt on 0345 345 4555 Ext: 4292 or alice.sherritt@footballfoundation.org.uk


Arsenal Legends XI and Maccabi London Lions XI
Floodlit pitch at Maccabi London Lions

Quote

“It was great to attend the opening of these stadium improvements at Maccabi London Lions. The works carried out by the FSIF have made a huge difference to the club, and I very much enjoyed playing in the match."

Chris Whyte, former Arsenal player.

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