Sports hall to be dedicated to footballing legend

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The sports hall at the new Ripley Leisure Centre is to be dedicated to a footballing legend who hailed from Ripley.

The ‘Alfred Strange Sports Hall’ is to be named in honour of the former Sheffield Wednesday and England footballer who was born in Marehay.

Alf scored 63 goals in 382 appearances for four clubs and was capped 20 times for England where he also served as captain during a playing career from 1922 to 1936.

A meeting room in the old Ripley Leisure Centre had been named in his honour following his death in 1978.

In a special ceremony at Ripley Leisure Centre, to be attended by his son Donald Strange, a plaque will be unveiled to mark the dedication of the Hall on Saturday, May 14.

After retiring from football, Alf settled in Ripley where he took a rather different direction as a poultry farmer.

Assistant director for wellbeing at Amber Valley Borough Council, Kirk Monk, said: “By dedicating the sports hall in Alf’s name we are providing a lasting and fitting tribute to a local sporting legend that I hope will inspire young people and celebrate the life and career of a very successful sporting hero.”