Former Arsenal vice chairman gives seal of approval to Harpenden school project

Roundwood Park School headteacher, Alan Henshall and David Dein. Picture: Roundwood Park

Roundwood Park School headteacher, Alan Henshall and David Dein. Picture: Roundwood Park - Credit: Archant

The former vice chairman of the Football Association has given his seal of approval to a controversial artificial pitch at a Harpenden school.

David Dein, who was also a vice-chairman of Arsenal Football Club, visited Roundwood Park School to view the plans for a community pitch currently under construction.

Roundwood was given planning permission for a third generation (3G) pitch and floodlighting to be used by both pupils and local club Harpenden Colts last year.

Although hundreds of supporters signed a petition backing its construction, there was strong opposition claiming it would produce excessive noise and light for nearby residents.

David praised the school’s efforts in pushing through the application: “I want to wish you all every success in your project in developing the new artificial pitch. I hope from it you will find the next Tony Adams, David Beckham, Wayne Rooney or Steven Gerrard to come through for the England team; it is so necessary, well done.”

To help it deliver The Roundwood Park Community Pitch, Roundwood Park School, Harpenden Colts, the Football Foundation and Watford FC Community were recently given a £500,000 grant from the Premier League and The FA Facilities, which is funded alongside Sports England and delivered by sports charity, the Football Foundation.

While visiting the school, David also spoke to pupils about taking pride in their work, making the most of opportunities, and the benefits of taking risks in life.

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One student said: “He inspired me to be more risky sometimes in order to get what I want in life and to be successful you need to stick your neck out, be original and always be punctual.”

David was instrumental in convincing some of the biggest football talent to join Arsenal, including Arsène Wenger, and was one of the main architects of the Premier League in 1992.

Roundwood Park School is currently fund raising for the pitch. Donors will be acknowledged on a paving stone inscription close to the new build. Visit to find out more.