Last Saturday saw the official opening of the new pavilion for Stockbridge Recreation Ground after many months of toil including through monsoon conditions at the start of the year.

The pavilion was opened by lord of the manor Guy Boney QC and named the Dave Webb Community Pavilion in honour of Dave who was awarded an FA gold medal last year for 50 years service to Stockbridge FC.

Also in attendance were seven other members who have silver medals for 25 years service.

Sacha Nicholas, county development officer represented Hants FA alongside retiring chairman John Ward.

The new pavilion is now available to the recreation ground’s many users and has changing facilities and toilets, including one for disabled users, and a baby-changing facility.

Before the pavilion was built, players were forced to change in an old, damp and unwelcoming pre-fab concrete building which did not meet modern standards and regulations and the new pavilion may be upgraded in the future to create a meeting and hospitality room with a small kitchen area.

The £150,000 project was led by Stockbridge Recreation Ground Trust and funds came from several organisations including the Football Stadia Improvement Fund (FSIF), who awarded a grant of £57,542, which the club worked with Hampshire County FA to secure.

Viridor Credits Environmental Company also awarded £25,000 and the Veolia Environmental Trust gave £20,000 through the Landfill Communities Fund.

The FA’s National Sports Centre Trust also gave £10,000 with the Recreation Ground Trust putting £27,500 of its own money into the project.

Committee member Paul Barker said: “It is fantastic to see the new pavilion as it has taken nearly seven years for plans to become reality and it has been well worth the wait.

We would like to say a big “thank you” to everyone who helped make it happen.”

President Dave Webb was naturally delighted to have the pavilion named after him saying: “I was stunned to be honest and very emotional as it made me think of the many people who have been at this club, some of whom are no longer with us.”

He added: “It hasn’t really sunk in yet but it reminded me of the long slog we had when we lost the Little Dean ground.

‘I would like to pay my own tribute to those who have worked with me for this club over the years including my wife Jill, Elizabeth Viney from the Playing Fields Association who did so much to get this ground originally and John Foord, who not only gave us a field to play on when we had none but did so much to get the Rec playing surface so good.”

Webb went on to thank ex-chairman Sam Savage and his family, Trevor Dance and his father and grandfather who both served the Robins, Ivor and Dickie Dominy and Mike Bailey who has been on the scene since 1949.

The ground now stands ready to welcome its first customers as the Hampshire Premier League season begins in August.

The Robins have been drawn at home to Andover Lions in the first round of the League Cup on Saturday September 13.