Pictures: Sir Alex Ferguson opens £750,000 Community Sports Hall at Altrincham FC

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Sir Alex Ferguson today officially opened the new £750,000 Community Sports Hall at Altrincham FC.

The former Manchester United manager attended a ceremony at the multi-purpose facility at lunchtime today.

As well as being shown around the new building, he was given a tour of the home and away dressing rooms at Moss Lane. He was welcomed by Robins chairman Grahame Rowley and general manager Stacey Rowley, and guests including Manchester City legend Dennis Tueart (seen chatting with Ferguson above).

Ferguson said: “It’s a pleasure to be here. I came here many times with my reserve team and they were always glad to have us back.

“The great thing about these projects is what it can do for the community and what it can do for people. It gives you an identity. I hope the facilities here can be used, it would be a tragedy if they weren’t and I’m sure they will be.

“It’s a great opportunity for the young people and for all the people of Altrincham. It’s great to see these projects giving people an opportunity to get out of the house and stop watching the television and playing computer games.

Below: Sir Alex Ferguson outside the new community hall, with chairman Grahame Rowley to his right

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“I’ve always believed in young people. At United I would give people an opportunity and it’s amazing how they can express themselves and develop – and it makes them into good human beings.

“In my day you could play in the streets, but you can’t do that now, you need facilities. Germany have got 11,000 3G pitches and that gives you the reason why they’re one of the best countries in the world for producing footballers.”

Ferguson praised the club for its fund-raising efforts, jokingly asking if it had been “robbing banks”.

He said he could recommend people taking part in the yoga classes at the facility as he had seen at close quarters the impact it had had on Ryan Giggs’ career.

“I reckon that gave Ryan Giggs a few extra years,” he said. “When he started yoga classes he got no injuries and kept on playing until he was 41 – and that was thanks to yoga.”

As well as yoga, activities already taking place in the hall include Timperley ABC Boxing, scouts and cubs, fitness classes, Slimming World, karate and baby massage.

Around £550,000 for the new facility was secured through grants, but the rest has been raised by the community with a wide range of fundraising activities, although around £60,000 remains outstanding. The facility is open daily from 9am to 10pm.

Below: Sir Alex Ferguson at Altrincham FC Community Sports Hall today

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