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Play tribute to footballing legend Gary nears fruition

Published date: 21 January 2014 |
Published by: Staff reporter
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A PLAYING field dedicated to a late footballing hero is in line for a major upgrade.

The Gary Speed Playing Fields on Aston Park in Hawarden will be given a makeover within weeks after a £20,000 boost.

The park is located just yards away from where the former Leeds, Everton, Newcastle and Wales player and manager grew up.

The park was renamed in his memory after he died in 2011, aged just 42.

Now thousands of pounds will be spent on the area to bring new multi-play equipment to the site’s playground, with the works now coming towards completion.

Chairman of Hawarden Community Council, Cllr Judith Hough, said the community is delighted at the works and that the new facility is an “investment” for the children in the area.

“The work is going very well,” said Cllr Hough.

“That area is something we have been trying to upgrade.

“We have to invest in the children’s future and playing is an integral part of that.”
She added: “It looks really good.There is still some of the area to be improved.”

Cllr Hough praised the company carrying out the work saying they are doing a “fantastic” job.

She also highlighted Flintshire Council’s commitment of working alongside the community council in its bid to secure match funding for the project.

Community Council clerk Noel Barnes said the work will be complete within “the next couple of weeks”.

Gary Speed died in November 2011. His body was found in the garage at his home in Huntington, Chester, but the coroner at his inquest said he could not be satisfied the ex-Premier League star intended to kill himself.

His death saw an outpouring of grief in the footballing community.

Hawarden Community Council also placed a memorial bench and plaque in memory of the footballer in the park.

Gary Speed’s parents still live at the family home on Courtland Drive, Aston.

Mike Welch, Flinshire Council’s principal leisure services officer, said: “All town and community councils have been invited to participate in the play area match funding programme for 2014/15 which is now in its third year.

“Hawarden Community Council has responded by nominating the Gary Speed Play Area, with a sum of £10,000.

“Applications will be considered by the council and the successful bids will be announced at the end of April 2014.

“If the Hawarden Community Council application is approved, Flintshire Council would provide a further £10,000, making a total investment of £20,000.”

For more news from across the region visit newsnorthwales.co.uk

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