New University sports pitch unveiled by ex England and Villa player

Nigel Spinks opens sports pitch
Students warm up for their penalty shoot-out against Nigel Spinks. Front row, left-right – Rachel Brown, Nigel Spink, Frish Kataria and Matthew Wood. Back row, left-right – Luke Chadbourne and Ross Spencer.

1 October 2008 – for immediate release

One of Aston Villa’s most memorable goalkeepers, Nigel Spink, visited Aston University’s central Birmingham campus this week to unveil a new community sports facility.

The football star, who made his name in the 80s as one of Villa’s most unrivalled goalkeepers and became a member of the England squad, formally launched the University’s five a side sports pitch to the public on Wednesday (1st October). The pitch was constructed by O’Brien Contractors, based in Leamington Spa, through construction procurement agency Emprima.

The new Gosta Green pitch will provide a temporary replacement for the Gem Astroturf – a facility that has now been transformed into the site for phase one of the University’s new £57 million halls of residence scheme, due to be completed in 2010. Specifically designed for five a-side matches, the all weather, outdoor synthetic pitch will be made available to Aston University students and staff, whilst the new Astroturf – scheduled for completion by

October 2012 - is constructed.

Garry East, Director of Estates and Facilities, Aston University, said:

“We were delighted to invite Nigel onto the campus this week to unveil the University’s new replacement sports pitch. This new five-a-side facility has been put in place to ensure staff, students and the local community are not without a sports pitch whilst the new larger-scale ground is being constructed.

Mike Kirkman, Head of Sport and Recreation, Aston University, said:

“With a career spanning almost two decades at the University’s local football club, it seemed very fitting that Nigel should be launching our new sports facility to the public this week. We enjoyed welcoming him and look forward to this new pitch becoming a well-used resource for the University and the community.”

Mick O’Brien Managing Director, O’Brien Contractors, added:

“We relished the challenge of building this facility whilst working on a live university campus. We used the latest laser technology to deliver on time and to budget, whilst being sympathetic to the students and staff on campus. We were delighted to see Nigel Spink kicking off the first season on the pitch,”

Nigel unveiled the new pitch with a quick fire penalty shoot out round, where Aston University students competed against staff. To book the Gosta Green pitch, or for more information on the University’s range of sports facilities which are open to the public, telephone 0121 204 4623 or visit www.aston.ac.uk/sport.


For more information on Aston University contact Laura Plotnek, University Communications Team, Aston University on 0121 204 4549 or prtemp@aston.ac.uk.


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