MARSTON Saints football club officially opened its new pavilion after a 15-year wait, with the help of a famous former player.

Ex-Arsenal and England player Martin Keown, who lives in North Oxford, played for the club as a youngster and was on hand to open the new £240,000 building at Boults Lane on Sunday.

Old Marston Parish Council clubbed together with the team to replace the old pavilion, named after former parish council clerk Roy Garner.

Mr Keown, who played for Marston Saints from Under 13s to Under 15s before joining Arsenal, said it was a great boost for the club and players.

He said: “I was looking into the eyes of all the young players there and telling them I was there at the age of 13 - in fact with Garry Parker there were two professional footballers to come out of the club.

“This facility gives those players the chance to improve and for the volunteers at the club to keep up their great work.”

He added: “It was a real pleasure to come back and open the pavilion - we had nothing more than a portacabin / garage type facility. Now they have a great new pavilion and somewhere to make the bacon sandwiches.”