A former Ipswich Town FC captain officially launched a new £45,000 all weather sports pitch at a Bury St Edmunds secondary school.
Matt Holland, who also played internationally for the Republic of Ireland, unveiled the facilities at St Benedict’s Catholic School, in Beeton’s Way.
It is part of an upgrading of the school, which is due to take its first Year 7 pupils in September as part of the county wide move to two tier education.
The all weather pitch is equally suited to hockey, five-a-side football, tennis and netball.
Headteacher Hugh O’Neill and the school’s governors were ‘eager’ to enhance the facilities as the school’s intake increases from 610 to 730 students in two years time.
Mr O’Neill said: “We have a very good school playing field with full size pitches for rugby, football and hockey but we have felt the need to have an all year, all round multi use surface.
“This will be a great facility for PE lessons and also for leisure use at breaks and lunchtimes.”
During his visit, Mr Holland spoke to students and signed autographs before taking part in the school’s fund-raising marathon.
Teams from each year in the school have been raising money for charities of their choice and the team with the greatest distance covered on cycling, rowing, running and cross training machines in the school fitness suite won a bonus prize to donate to their charity.