A piece of Huddersfield sporting history has a new future.

Work is almost complete on turning the former Storthes Hall complex into a centre of sporting excellence.

And tomorrow the famous old pavilion that played host to hospital cricket and football teams for decades will be back in action – twice.

The new-look clubhouse will be used by Shelley in their first Saturday home game in the Premier Division of the West Yorkshire League.

And hours later it will host a village wedding – after club officials responded to an SOS.

Shelley manager and groundsman Ashley Berry said: “We got a call from a local girl who is getting married on Saturday.

“She had been let down at the very last minute over her reception and wondered if we can help. I got together with my colleague Lee Henton and we have arranged for a marquee on one of the pitches for the afternoon and for the clubhouse to be used in the evening.’’

The transformation follows work by the Leslie Sports Foundation, which has been developing Town’s former Storthes Hall training base.

The foundation, set up by former Town chairman and local entrepreneur Graham Leslie and his son Craig, secured grants totalling more than �300,000 to take on and renovate the facilities.

Now the Shelley club, which has many junior and open-age teams, boasts three full-size playing fields and two junior pitches, with four more junior fields on the way.

 

Mr Berry, 50, coach at clubs including Huddersfield Town, Halifax Town, Chesterfield and Bridlington Town in the past, is delighted to be back at the club where he played his early football.

He played alongside Craig Leslie in the Shelley team, which was based on playing fields at Skelmanthorpe.

“Craig rang me to talk about his plans for Shelley but I was a little dubious about stepping back into the District League.

“But I was excited about the plans and have been here five years now. There has been a lot of hard work but we have brought a new lease of life to what is a sports complex with a lot of history in Huddersfield.

“Both my grandparents worked at the old Storthes Hall Hospital when it was on this site and I remember coming here to watch my grandad play cricket out of the pavilion.

“It was listed as a building of special interest and we have kept that as well as adding extensions to create dressing and treatment rooms and a clubhouse with a bar and a cafe.”

Volunteers have also renovated the terrace banking below the pavilion and it now boasts bench seating for up to 400 people overlooking the football pitches.

“I love it up here and we are getting there,” said Mr Berry.

The funding included �251,217 from the Football Foundation and another �50,000 from the Football Stadia Improvement Fund.

The club worked with the West Riding FA to secure the grants.