Date: 28th July 2017 at 5:00pm
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Scott Minto spent his career at the top of the game. He played alongside Gianfranco Zola and won The FA Cup with Chelsea in 1997.

He marked the likes of Eric Cantona, David Beckham and Thierry Henry. He even spent a season in Portugal with Benfica.

Recently, he was hoping to start the careers of the next generation as he opened Danson Sports FC’s state-of-the-art all-weather pitch, in Bexley.

The new facility, which was funded by the Premier League, The FA and the Government via Sport England, is set to more than double the number of local people who will get out and play football.

Girls football in the area will see a huge boost, with five new teams being created at the site. Overall, Danson Sports FC will see their club expand from 36 playing sides to 54.

Minto, who played for Charlton Athletic, Chelsea and West Ham United in a 17-year career, was only too pleased to hear of these plans, “I know from experience how important these facilities are to grassroots football and I’m delighted to see this new pitch already in use.

“Grassroots players deserve top-quality surfaces to hone their skills and this pitch is an excellent example.”

Since his retirement in 2006, Minto has turned to presenting for Sky Sports, and his media skills were put to the test by some budding young fans who quizzed him at the event.

He spoke fondly about his former team-mates, including his time playing with the “incredible talents” of Paolo Di Canio, Ruud Gullit and Zola and one of his most memorable moments – his FA Cup success.

The site itself was funded by a £459,486 grant from the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund, a £20,000 grant from the London Marathon Charitable Trust and £35,000 raised by Danson themselves.

The Football Foundation, who delivered the project, has awarded grants worth more than £580m towards improving grassroots sport, which has contributed towards £1.4bn of investment into the grassroots game.

Words by Adam Charman

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