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Ex-Premiership football stars Matt Le Tissier and Alan Shearer both drew crowds of admiring and awestruck fans when they visited the area.

Former England international and Southampton FC legend Le Tissier officially opened a new 3G artificial grass pitch at Frogmore Leisure Centre in Yateley on Tuesday (September 9).

He cut the ceremonial ribbon before meeting his passionate followers, signing autographs, posing for pictures and taking part in a question and answer session.

Joining the star was football freestyler Dan Magness. Having recently appeared on Sky Sports’ Soccer AM, he performed an impressive range of ball skills, keepy-uppies and even balanced a bicycle on his head.

Councillor Myra Billings, chairman of Hart District Council, who helped cut the ribbon, said: “The evening was a huge success.

"Everyone who attended seemed to be having a fantastic time, especially the children.

"Matt was a really down-to-earth professional and must have signed hundreds of bottles and shirts.

"The queue seemed to stretch forever.”

The council has invested £310,000 in the new artificial pitch to replace the original sand-filled astroturf pitch at the sports venue, in Potley Hill Road.

Yateley United FC turned up to the launch with a few of their junior and youth teams to take part in a variety of challenges and drills under the floodlights.

Cllr Anne Crampton, cabinet member for community wellbeing at Hart, added: “Both Matt Le Tissier and Dan Magness were just fantastic.

"It was great to officially open the new 3G pitch in such style.

“Lots of local teams have now booked to train on this new pitch and we look forward to seeing them over the coming months”.


Meanwhile, ex-England, Newcastle United, Blackburn Rovers and Southampton legend Shearer challenged a local businessman to a rematch of their 18-hole novelty golf contest from last year.

The BBC Match of the Day pundit visited Wellington College in Crowthorne, where he agreed to challenge entrepreneur and founder of PROBIZ, Feisal Nahaboo, as part of a one-day golf marathon.

It saw Shearer and Mr Nahaboo spend 15 hours flying up and down the country to complete a single round of golf comprising one hole on 18 different courses, using a helicopter to get between each venue.

Mr Nahaboo came up with the idea for a golfing challenge last year while offering to raise funds for the Alan Shearer Foundation (ASF).

The charity provides specialist disability, respite, residential and social services for people with complex disabilities and sensory impairments.

The 2013 challenge saw the duo raise just shy of £100,000. This year, however, takings for the ASF are already estimated at around £135,000.

"I’ve supported his charity for a year now," said Mr Nahaboo.

"He is a kind man, good hearted, a great sporting ambassador to this country – he even donated his testimonial money, a seven-figure sum, to charity."

Mr Nahaboo said that while the pair had become good friends, there was no love lost during the challenge after the prolific former striker beat him on the 17th hole and went on to win the match.

“People thought we were crazy flying across England to play a round of golf," said Mr Nahaboo.

"But our madness will create smiles and laughter for children with learning disabilities.

"Like Alan, I’ve been fortunate in life, but there are many families suffering.

"There’s no better way to give our support than gather people across the UK to have a lot of fun with a serious cause underlying our togetherness."

Shearer said it was a "great feeling" to beat Mr Nahaboo again on his home turf, but stressed the day was far more about the cause for which the pair were raising money.