EX-Albion footballer and Varndean School old boy Russell Martin returned to his old stomping ground to officially open a new 3G all-weather sports pitch.

Russell, who now plays for Norwich City and the Scottish national team, has generously donated new football strips to Varndean’s Year 7 and Year 10 football teams, and fondly remembers the times he captained the school team.

Varndean School is proud to be the first school to have a 3G pitch available in North Brighton.

The pitch, which is made of artificial blades of grass supported by a thin base layer of sand, will be officially opened today.

The pitch will be used by students during school football and rugby lessons to complement the sporting activities on offer on the Astroturf pitches, athletics field and sports hall and fitness suite.

Newly appointed head of PE Calum Thomas said: “These excellent facilities are also available to the wider community during the evenings and on weekends and accommodate a range of sports clubs.

“In honour of his involvement in the school, the 3G pitch has been named after Russell Martin.

“It’s great that the Russell Martin 3G pitch will serve as another all-weather surface so that PE staff can continue to deliver high quality learning experiences even when the playing field is out of action.”