Scottish football legend Denis Law has welcomed the start of construction on a new football pitch designed to get youngsters in a deprived area of Aberdeen more active.
The city became the only one in Scotland to host a Cruyff Court two years ago, when a playing area was created on Catherine Street.
It proved so popular among children in the area that plans for a second were drawn up, and work began yesterday on the creation of a £300,000 facility on council-owned land adjacent to Tullos Primary School in Torry.
The Denis Law Legacy Trust and the Johan Cruyff Foundation have teamed up with Aberdeen City Council for the venture.
Mr Law, who scored 30 goals for Scotland during his prime, said the new site will help “encourage the next generation” when it opens in November.
The Powis-born 79-year-old said: “The start of construction is an exciting time and everyone associated with the trust is incredibly proud to be part of a project that will make a real impact on the lives of young people in the south of the city.
“When we brought the first Cruyff Court to Aberdeen we wanted to have a focal point for the great work that is being done by staff and volunteers to nurture and encourage the next generation.
“The results have been fantastic and the second court will broaden the opportunities to even more youngsters and give them the chance to thrive in a safe and supportive environment.”
The choice of the second site was welcomed by the community during a consultation period earlier this year.
The council has allocated £250,000 of funding for the project, with the Cruyff Foundation pledging a further £50,000.
Aberdeen remains the only city in Scotland to house a Cruyff Court, though there are more than 250 in more than 20 countries worldwide.
The facilities feature all-weather pitches made of artificial grass, and have been devised to offer children and young people from poorer areas a place to practise their skills.
Numerous professional footballers have credited their success to the scheme, which is named after Dutch footballing legend Johan Cruyff, who died in 2016.
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Co-leader of Aberdeen City Council, Jenny Laing, said: “Our ambition is for a city where all people can prosper and where every young person has the chance to fulfill their potential.
“Facilities that provide the opportunity to develop and build confidence, as well as leading an active lifestyle, are essential to realising those goals.”
Director of the Johan Cruyff Foundation, Niels Meijer, said: “We’re very happy to create more space in Aberdeen.
“This Cruyff Court will give children a space to grow, to make friends and to improve their mental and physical health.”