EASTENDERS' Martin Fowler returned to his old school to open a sports hall last week.

James Alexandrou, who left Chingford Foundation School to join the soap aged 16, joined headteacher Clive Moore to cut the ribbon.

The Clive Moore sports hall, named to mark the headteacher's imminent retirement, has been planned and built over the past three years using £3m of funding from the Government's School Sports Initiative.

Under the initiative, the school took on an extra form of students in 2005 and will further increase in number in 2009 to 1,420 pupils and sixth form students on roll.

It will also use the money to provide additional classes and staff resources.

Mr Alexandrou, 21, stayed on after the ceremony to catch up with friends and his brother who is still at the school.

Mr Moore is retiring after 21 years at the school.

He said: "I am absolutely delighted to see the finished product after so many years of planning and preparation. At last the school has the excellent physical education facilities it deserves.

"Sport is very, very strong in Chingford and the facilities will be put to good use."