Woodford Town Football Club made an emotional return to their old stamping ground after their first home game for 28 years.

Their return on Friday (August 13) follows Redbridge Council’s £1.6 million investment in Ashton Playing Fields in Woodford, to support the construction of a new grandstand and other new facilities.

An upgraded pavilion with a new changing room, first aid facilities, upgraded gym facilities and a multi-use club room are all part of the construction.

Woodford Football Club’s former home ground was situated off Snakes Lane East. In 1993, the club lost its ground and unfortunately was forced to fold in 2003.

After reforming 2017, the club had to play in Broxbourne and Harlow opposed to their home grounds.

The first game back in Woodford ended in a 2-1 defeat to Stanstead FC, but council leader Cllr Jas Athwal and deputy leader Cllr Kam Rai were there to cheer on the team.

Cllr Athwal said: "It was truly fantastic to see Woodford Town back in their rightful home in Woodford, the level of support was incredible, with over 800 local people coming out to watch the match and cheer on the team.

“Our investment in Ashton Playing Fields has delivered world-class football and athletics facilities for local sports clubs, schools and our community, plus a brand new state of the art gym. I’m looking forward to seeing our team go from strength to strength in their new home and hopefully some future Olympians coming through the Athletic Club.”

The new facilities at Ashton Playing Fields will also enable Woodford Green Athletic Club, with Essex Ladies, to host British Athletics League Division One meetings.