Maccabi London Lions honoured the memory of former player Alan Mattey last week by officially opening a stand in his honour at Rowley Lane.
The unveiling coincided with the official opening night of the Alpha Stadium, as more than 300 spectators, together with the Mayor of Barnet, Mark Shooter, were on hand, along with members of the Mattey family, to pay tribute to a club legend, which was followed by a friendly match against an Arsenal Charity XI.
Club Chairman and Head of Football Andy Landesberg said: “The timing of the opening of the stand was perfect, there’s not a person around who doesn’t think Alan’s memory deserved this. He’s held in the highest respect and esteem , tonight was in recognition of him and a fitting tribute to him.”
Announcing the fixture would become an annual event, with every year focussing on a charity in memory of Alan, Landesberg also spoke about the developments at Rowley Lane. “It’s really important to realise this didn’t happen overnight,” he said. “David Kyte was a visionary right from the start and a lot of respect must also be paid to the original trustees. To remember how this piece of land was back in 2002, and to see what it is now – we never could have envisaged it, we had a strong feeling that it would be developed as time progressed, but the demand from the community has also been key to this – it’s been a driving force.”
Looking ahead to further developments, he said: “Let’s say there are plans on the horizon! We’re looking at hosting indoor sports and incorporating more girls into competing.”
Also keen to point out Rowley Lane and what it represents is about more than just sport, he said: “It’s about serving the community through the medium of sport. It’s about people coming here and forging friendships, sport is like the glue that holds it all together.”