The goalkeeper and Club captain, alongside Jan Vertonghen, GK Nkoudou, Josh Onomah, Cameron Carter-Vickers and Brandon Austin, swapped his usual gloves for those of a different kind at The High Line - fast-becoming one of the city’s most loved locations.
The High Line is a 1.45-mile-long park created on an elevated section of a disused railway. It has been redesigned and planted as an aerial greenway and is an icon in contemporary landscape architecture.
It runs from Gansevoort Street - three blocks below 14th Street - in the Meatpacking District, through Chelsea, to the northern edge of the West Side Yard on 34th Street near the Javits Convention Center.
Repurposing of the railway into an urban park was completed in 2014 as part of the ongoing Hudson Yards Redevelopment Project. The project has spurred real estate development in the neighbourhoods that lie along the line and increased property values. The park gets nearly five million visitors annually.
Below: The players present a framed signed shirt to Hudson Guild
The High Line's planting design is inspired by the self-seeded landscape that grew on the out-of-use elevated rail tracks during the 25 years after trains stopped running. Many of the species that originally grew on the High Line's rail bed are incorporated into the park's landscape.
It’s maintained, operated and programmed by a charitable organisation called Friends of the High Line, in partnership with the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation, which raises 98% of the High Line's annual budget and seeks to engage the vibrant and diverse community on and around the High Line.
Volunteers play a critical role at the High Line, tending plants alongside gardeners, introducing visitors to the park’s history, helping out at special events and providing administrative support in the office.
Below: Jan Vertonghen, Brandon Austin, Josh Onomah and Cameron Carter-Vickers get stuck in
And that’s where the players came in - assisting a group of volunteers from Friends of the High Line to help renovate the 23rd Street Lawn - a beloved feature and the High Line's only lawn, which stretches for an entire block north of West 22nd Street.
The Lawn is anchored on the southern end with seating steps made of reclaimed teak, and is a popular spot for picnics and programming.
During the event, the players presented a framed signed shirt to one of the Friends of the High Line’s community partners, Hudson Guild, a charity serving the needs of economically disadvantaged people in the Chelsea area of Manhattan.