BURTON Albion Manager Nigel Clough officially opened the brand new state-of-the-art sports hall at John Taylor Free School on Friday morning.
Along with captain Jake Buxton and midfielder – and John Taylor High School alumni – Ben Fox, Clough cut the ribbon and then faced a string of penalties from students inside the new facility.
Brewers Chairman Ben Robinson and Commercial Director Fleur Robinson were also on hand for the official unveiling of the facility.
John Taylor Free School officially opened in September 2018, and has 210 Year 7 students as well as 240 places for the 2019 intake.
The school, based on Branston Road, Tatenhill, will grow year-on-year until they reach capacity of 1,550 11-18-year-old students.
Brewers manager Clough gave a short speech to students at the official unveiling before cutting the ribbon, and heading inside for the penalty shootout in front of a crowd of pupils, even taking one himself with midfielder Fox going in goal.
Sue Plant, Head of School at John Taylor, said: “We were delighted to welcome Nigel Clough, Ben Robinson and the Brewers players to John Taylor Free School.
“The students are very proud of their new school and enjoyed the penalty shoot-out immensely. We have many enthusiastic footballers and it is great to have role models from the team in school.”
Nigel Clough said: “It was an honour to open the new sports hall at John Taylor Free School, and we thank the staff at John Taylor for inviting us to the official launch.
“This will be a great facility for schoolkids in the local area to practice and improve in a wide variety of sports.
“There was a good standard of penalties in the shootout towards the end, as well!”
Brewers midfielder Ben Fox said: “It’s a brilliant facility – it’s brand new and the students are very lucky to be in such a fantastic environment.
“My old High School was fantastic to me and gave me some fantastic opportunities – there were some teachers here today that used to teach me, so it was good to see them.
“Being a local lad you get involved in this sort of thing a lot and I’m sure the students here will become not only better pupils, but better athletes as well.”