Sporting Hackney FC come home to Hackney Marshes

Sporting Hackney Football Club (SHFC) and Hackney Council have signed an agreement which will see SHFC play its Middlesex County Football League games on the show pitch at Hackney Marshes.

The announcement was made on Saturday 14 May at the club s 25th anniversary event by Councillor Jonathan McShane, Hackney Council’s Cabinet Member for Community Services, and Mike Bracken, chair of Sporting Hackney FC.

Also announced at the event was a partnership with the City Academy, Hackney which will provide youth football training in Hackney. From September 2011 City Academy, Hackney will play in the Hackney Schools league at Hackney Marshes, as a first step towards a full youth system.

Mike Bracken, said: "After 25 years we are delighted to finally have a fixed home within Hackney. This means we can build on the success of the club so far and nurture young talented footballers in Hackney by providing a much needed connection between youth and adult football via our partnership with the City Academy."

SHFC currently plays in the Middlesex County Football League at step 7 on the FA’s national structure, the highest level of football played in the borough. Started 25 years ago with a small grant from Hackney Council as Hackney Youth Unemployment Project, SHFC is now an FA charter standard club, has three adult teams based in Hackney, and includes players from more than 24 countries.
Hackney Marshes is the spiritual home of grass roots football with over 70 matches played every weekend. The new Hackney Marshes Centre provides new changing facilities with building up junior football a key priority. By next season Hackney Marshes will have 56 adult, 1 show, 12 mini and eight junior football pitches; three rugby pitches and five non turf and three fine cricket. This includes the re-introduction of 6 adult football pitches at Mabley Green.

Councillor Jonathan McShane, Hackney Council’s Cabinet Member for Community Services said "This is great news for Hackney and the Council is delighted to welcome back Sporting Hackney Football Club to Hackney Marshes, the home of amateur football. The club has come such a long and over the years and the Council is looking forward to building a successful youth system in partnership with Sporting Hackney and City Academy."

Mark Emmerson of City Academy, Hackney said “We are looking forward to working with SHFC to add a Sporting Hackney team to the Saturday schools league, and to provide opportunities for players to progress to club football from schools football.”

Notes to editors

The new Hackney Marshes Centre located on South Marsh is nearing completion. The ground floor changing rooms are in use by sporting participants and the first floor will open for educational, leisure and community use by the summer.

The Centre provides 30 spacious changing rooms for players and officials, a café with a terrace with year-round views across the marshes, and two education rooms that can be used flexibly.

East Marsh is in the process of being handed over to the ODA. Football matches will resume playing on East Marsh at the start of the 2013 season following the Olympic Games.

Hackney Marshes are managed by GLL on behalf of Hackney Council. The Marshes represent the highest concentration of football pitches in Europe, currently with 48 full-size pitches with over 70 games played every weekend.

Hackney is one of the five host boroughs for the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. In 2012, Hackney will host the media centres, the Handball Arena (Arena 3) and the Hockey Arena. The media centres will remain after 2012 and will provide employment space. The Handball Arena will be transformed into a multi-sport community facility. The Hockey Arena is temporary and will be taken down after the 2012 Games.

More info on Sporting Hackney Football Club can be found at
Media enquiries: Louise Davies, 020 7515 8392 /

More information about Hackney Marshes can be found at
For media enquiries contact on 020 8356 3261