England legend and cult hero Stuart Pearce was the guest of honour as he officially opened Beaconsfield Town’s newly revamped stadium.

The 59-year-old, who earned 78 caps and scored five goals for the Three Lions between 1987 and 1999, visited the freshly-faced Holloways Park to see the Rams take on Walton Casuals on Monday, October 18.

The stadium’s new facilities include a brand new 3G pitch and floodlights, with the club also planning to install an electronic board.

The aim of the latter is to show off the team’s latest fixtures, whilst offering businesses the chance to advertise their goods on the space.

It is also hoped that the board will attract passers-by to come and watch the Rams in action, due to the stadium’s location by the M40 services.

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Speaking at the ground, the former Nottingham Forest player, who spent several years with Wealdstone Town in the Non League, exclusively told the BPF: “I’m an ambassador for Pitching In, which supports these kinds of leagues and with my Non League background, I’ve got a duty of care to keep an eye on the Non League scene.

“Hopefully this is where the next generation of players will push through and becomes pros as I did, and for the others, became the hub community.”

Despite the turn out of 185 people, Beaconsfield couldn’t get the winning start they wanted at their newly renovated home, as they conceded three goals in the first 15 minutes against the side from Surrey, before eventually losing 4-2.

Pearce continued: “I think it is absolutely vital to watch your local team play.

“I think everyone has missed that personal connection since the Covid situation began and I think it’s highlighted things such as the financial situations of clubs.

“And with Beaconsfield, they have got a new pitch and floodlights so it’s a good opportunity to come here and watch a good game of football with these new facilities.”

The club has rebranded quite considerably since the 2017/18 season, which saw them win the Southern Football League East Division title.

The promotion meant that Beaconsfield were now in the third step of the English football pyramid (Southern League Premier Division South) – just two divisions away from the National League and just six from the Premier League.

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However, after a respectable 2018/19 campaign that saw them finish in midtable, both the 2019/20 and 2020/21 seasons were curtailed due to the coronavirus pandemic, which has impacted numerous clubs across the country.

The club’s managing director, Peter Bromage, said: “We wanted to create an identity for Beaconsfield as a football club, and that is what we did.

“We played in the Evo Stik East Division and we won the league out of step four.

“We went into step three, which is a completely different level and the difference between the steps is vast due to the players and the money.

“So for the 2018/19 campaign, we finished in midtable which is pretty good for the first season, but for 19/20 and 20/21, everything fell apart in terms of the season and from a national point of view.

“We’ve been coasting along since then, but, we have always wanted to revitalise the ground, the pitch, and the club as a whole.”

A day before the grand reopening, the club hosted a fun day for children, which saw hundreds of parents, guardians and teenagers visit the stadium football-related activities.

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Peter continued: “We wanted to build from the ground up in terms of a youth set up, so we introduced an under 18s team, along with under 16, 15, 14, 13, and 12 sides, and the whole thing is to try and build a relationship with the local community, whilst also trying to create a support base.

“Beaconsfield has not traditionally had a big attendance in terms of crowds, as we can have as little as 80 people, but sometimes with an away crowd, we can get up to 250/300 people.

“So the issue we have is how can we get the local community to come along and watch us?

“A way of doing that is getting children to play at the club, and get their parents to come along as well.

“But we need to have a product attractive enough to sell for people to come and watch us in the first place.”

Beaconsfield’s next match is at home to Salisbury.