Fergie letter marks success

Eastleigh Juniors

Eastleigh Juniors

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A successful Leigh junior football club marked its silver anniversary with a special letter from Sir Alex Ferguson.

Eastleigh JFC was founded in 1986 as a way to get children off the streets and give them something to do in the evenings.

Since then, the club has grown considerably, and now runs more than 22 teams ranging from U7s through to U18s, with training three nights a week on the Astroturf pitches at Westleigh High School.

The club celebrated its first 25 years with an evening party at Eastleigh Labour Club, with more than 200 people attending.

Chairman Bernard Ratcliffe also received the surprise letter from the Manchester United manager, congratulating him on the club’s successes.

Currently 14 Eastleigh juniors are training with professional academies, and the club’s alumni include Blackburn Rovers star Jason Lowe.

Club cyber officer Ray Pasquill said: “It was a brilliant turnout and it all went well. No-one had told Bernard that we’d received the letter from Sir Alex, so he was delighted to get that.

“There were lots of people who we haven’t seen for a long time. It was a bit like a school reunion really, but for a football club.

“We try to teach them that there’s more to life than sitting in front of a PlayStation. And a lot of people have worked very hard for the club over the years.”