Toone unveils a pitch named in her honour

Friday 26 May 2023 14:53

Manchester United Women star Ella Toone was back on home turf last week to officially unveil a pitch named in her honour, thanks to investment into new facilities by three governing bodies.

The Premier League, The FA and the government’s Football Foundation have collectively funded a series of 23 pitches across the country, to celebrate the Lionesses’ European Championship success.

The aim is to inspire another generation of girls and women to play football and ‘The Ella Toone Pitch’ is part of the new £6.2million William Fosters Hub in Ince. 

It is just a short distance from Ella’s hometown of Tyldesley and it will include two full-size 3G pitches, a changing pavilion, community cafe and social space. 

The site, opening this summer, was made possible by a £3.7 million grant from the Football Foundation and £2.5 million in funding from Wigan Council. 
Understandably, United Women hero Toone is proud of her journey and can’t wait to inspire another generation of young girls to take up the beautiful game. 

“It feels just like yesterday that I was a kid kicking a ball around just a few miles from here but already so much has changed in the women’s game,” she says. 

“It’s so exciting to see more and more women and girls wanting to play football and the amazing new facilities here will allow them to do just that.

“As a Lioness I feel a responsibility to be a role model for the next generation and it’s such an honour to do that with a pitch named after me in my hometown. I’m so grateful to the Football Foundation for the opportunity to inspire local girls to fall in love with the game just like I did.”
The Lioness legacy pitches form a key part of the Football Foundation’s Here to Play campaign, which celebrates the charity’s commitment to delivering facilities that provide equal access to women and girls playing football across the country. The campaign launched earlier this year with the opening of ‘The Jill Scott Pitch in Jarrow, named after Ella’s former Lioness team-mate. 

Robert Sullivan, CEO of the Football Foundation, said: “Ella and the Lionesses are a great showcase of how important quality grassroots facilities are for the women’s game. Many of the UEFA Women’s EUROs squad, including Ella, started their pathway to stardom on facilities funded by the Football Foundation. It’s vital the next generation has access to great places to play.
“Thanks to investment from the Premier League, The FA and Government, the Football Foundation is directing more money than ever into supporting the grassroots game. Every one of the facilities we fund will provide equal access for women and girls. That means providing safe, accessible and inclusive environments for women and girls from their journey to the site right up to their first step onto the pitch.”