THERE were smiles all round as a football club officially opened its first clubhouse.
AFC Portchester may be one of the biggest clubs in the county for the number of youth teams it has, but it has never had the facilities to match.
Now after a host of fundraising and grants it has a £75,000 clubhouse at Wicor recreation park, off Cranleigh Road, which boasts a bar, DJ booth, dance floor and pool table.
Jason Brooker, club secretary of AFC Portchester, said: ‘As a club we have 500 members and it’s great we can offer this clubhouse as a place for people to come.
‘We have so many local children who come here and learn about football.
‘It’s good because it keeps them active and away from computer games or getting into trouble.’
The project received a £30,000 grant from Fareham Borough Council, while the rest of the money was generated through fundraising events.
Councillor Nick Walker was asked to cut the ribbon and officially open the club.
Cllr Walker said: ‘It gave me great pleasure to come to this event.
‘It’s nice to see something like this open because there are a considerable number of youngsters in Portchester who use these facilities.
‘At least they have somewhere to spend their time and not be on the streets.
‘I have supported this club from the beginning, because they help themselves.’
Work on the clubhouse began last February and took a year to complete.
Southern Electric donated a bar, benches, tables, chairs and a pool table.
The weekend also saw the official opening of a £25,000 stand, which was installed in August last year, allowing the club to compete in the Wessex League.