Three former professional footballers have visited Raynes Park High School to hand over a £339,364 cheque from the Football Foundation.

Former Wimbledon star John Scales joined Raynes Park High School old boys Chris Powell and John Gannon in a spot of head tennis with pupils to celebrate the launch of the project.

It means a new four-team changing pavilion will be built and grass pitches on the neighbouring Royal Sun Alliance Sports Club ground, which have laid derelict since 1998, will be brought back into use.

Scales, who is also a Football Foundation ambassador, said: “I want to congratulate the staff at Raynes Park High School, who have worked hard with the Surrey County FA, to secure this Football Foundation grant. That money will help fund a fantastic new sports site five minutes walk from the school, which will also be used by the local community.”

The project will also massively help the nearby Sacred Heart and West Wimbledon Primary schools, who will also use the facilities.

Raynes Park High School aims to continue its football development through the formation of new school teams, running numerous training courses and working closely with project partner Westside Football Club, which is an FA Charter Standard Adult Club and who are seeking to expand current junior football provision.

Westside FC will secure a home venue to continue their football development at the new site.

The school runs five boys teams and three girls teams in each school year (years 7 to 11).

Both Sacred Heart and West Wimbledon Primary schools will also introduce new school teams.

Ian Newman, Head Teacher at Raynes Park High School, said: “The Football Foundation has been an excellent and active partner in this project offering expert guidance and support at all stages.

"We are proud that they have recognised our ambition and commitment by awarding us this funding.

"The new sports ground will be a brilliant facility for the three schools and for the local community.”

New football coaches will be trained at the site to support new activity, with a mix of student, teacher and football club volunteers becoming qualified.

The site should help ensure that the school’s impressive footballing alumni continues and new young talent can follow in the footsteps of former pupils, who also include Graham Stuart and Andy Thorn.