New community pitch opened in memory of Ugo Ehiogu
Fri 10 May 2019, 16:45|Tottenham Hotspur
The Club has supported the opening of the ‘Ugo Ehiogu Mini Pitch’, a new all-weather small-sided football pitch at Seven Sisters Primary School which has been created in memory of our former Under-23s Coach.
The pitch, which has been made possible as a result of investment from the Football Foundation, which is funded by the Premier League, the Football Association and the Government – as well as Side-On, a charity set up in Ugo’s memory, and donations from parents and teachers from Seven Sisters Primary School – will provide opportunities for young people in Haringey to have access to play football in a safe space.
As well as being used by Seven Sisters Primary School for their PE lessons, Tottenham Hotspur Foundation, the Club’s charitable arm, will deliver Premier League Kicks sessions for local children at the facility.
Premier League Kicks, which the Foundation currently runs in multiple venues across north-east London, teaches youngsters football skills as well as helping children work together to build a safer, stronger and more respectful community and equip them with skills to help steer them away from potential crime.
Following a performance of ‘Follow Our Dreams’, a song written by Seven Sisters Primary School staff member and rapper DQ, the Ugo Ehiogu Mini Pitch was officially opened by Ugo’s widow Gemma Ehiogu with the support of Kyle Walker-Peters, who worked under Ugo as an Under-23 player, Head Teacher at Seven Sisters Primary School, Emma Murray, and representatives from the Premier League, Football Association, Football Foundation, Tottenham Hotspur Academy and Tottenham Hotspur Foundation.
In addition to opening the pitch, Gemma also unveiled a mural of Ugo which has been created by a local artist, Grant Kennedy, in memory of the former England international who sadly passed away in April, 2017, after suffering a cardiac arrest.
Following the opening ceremony, staff from the Tottenham Hotspur Foundation, with the help of Kyle, delivered a Premier League Kicks session for pupils at Seven Sisters Primary School.
Gemma Ehiogu said: “Ugo was always passionate about ensuring every child had access to play sport in a safe space. This new facility will help youngsters in Haringey have more opportunities to play football, meet new friends, help improve their physical and mental health and improve levels of anti-social behaviour in the area. It’s a fitting way to remember him and I hope the facility brings huge joy to children living in this area.”
Emma Murray said: “Here at Seven Sisters Primary School we are dedicated to providing our students with access to as much physical education as possible. This new facility is going to allow our children to play sport every day and we would like to thank all funding partners for their generosity and support. We are delighted to be working with Tottenham Hotspur to open the facility up to other youngsters in the local community who will benefit from using it.”
Kyle Walker-Peters said: “It’s been a real privilege being at the opening of the mini pitch. I wish I had something like this when I was growing up – it’s a fantastic facility for children in Haringey. Ugo had a massive impact on my life and my playing career, and without him I wouldn’t have improved as a player. I owe a lot to him, so it’s been brilliant being here to remember him.”
Richard Masters, Interim Chief Executive at the Premier League, said: “Tottenham Hotspur carries out a huge amount of community work to support local schools and clubs in Haringey, and the launch of this floodlit all-weather pitch in the heart of their local area will help them do even more. Seven Sisters Primary School and Side-On also deserve huge credit for raising funds for this project, which will benefit so many and is a fitting legacy for Ugo given the passion he had for developing young people in the game.”