Muddy Tufnell Park bog becomes breeding ground for next Jack Wilshere

Cllr Janet Burgess and local children celebrate the renovated pitches at Tufnell Park

Cllr Janet Burgess and local children celebrate the renovated pitches at Tufnell Park - Credit: Archant

Swamp transformed into borough’s only full sized grass pitches

A muddy bog has been transformed into year-round football pitches for the next generation of Jack Wilsheres.

The Tufnell Park playing fields, off Campdale Road, reopened earlier this month after a year long £100,000 overhaul of the drainage system.

During winter months, the field resembled swamp land, but now sportsmen and women can use the two pitches – the only full size grass ones in the borough – a tennis court and cricket net from January through to December.

Cllr Janet Burgess, Islington council’s executive member for health and wellbeing said: “Park users have waited a long time for these works to be completed. These comprehensive works will sort out the drainage problems that often left the fields as muddy bogs, so that the next Jack Wilshere or Kieran Gibbs can hone their skills on good quality pitches.”

Charles Johnston, from Sports England, which helped fund the pitches, said: “Our Protecting Playing Fields fund is making a real difference to community sports clubs up and down the country by supporting one of the most important resources in sport.

“By protecting and improving playing fields like Tufnell Park, we’re ensuring people and teams have a place to get active and enjoy sport all year round.”

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Some of the cash for sorting out the drains and levelling the ground came from section 106 funds; money developers give the council to improve facilities in exchange for being given permission to build.

The rest – £34,500 – came from Sport England’s Protecting Playing Fields fund.

The fields can now be used for normal 11-a-side matches and smaller seven-a-side games where younger players can practise and focus more on improving their technique.

To book, call 020 3793 6880. More information on the Tufnell Park pitches can be found here.

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