John Terry comes to the rescue of struggling East End football club
England and Chelsea captain John Terry has come to the aid of the East End football club that trained him as a youth after hearing it is struggling to stay afloat.
The football ace has donated an undisclosed sum to Senrab club and has promised to ask other players to contribute too.
The defender trained at the club – which has been going for 50 years – from the age of nine until 15.
His donation comes as the club’s secretary Tony Carroll warns it is in “dire straights” and may have to stop training in Tower Hamlets.
Mr Carroll said: “We are nearly at rock bottom. We should have our own club house but instead we have to pay commercial rates to hire private pitches.
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“The council gave us �800 for two years – that’s a football and a half for each of our 23 teams.
“Clubs like ours are vital. If these boys didn’t have football they would be out in the streets getting involved in crime and gangs.”
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The club trains 350 children between the ages of five and 16 and has its home grounds at Wanstead Flats which is run by Corporation of London.
Premier League stars Ledley King and Jermain Defoe also trained with Senrab as youngsters.
The club gets some support from the Sports Council but says the increasing rents on private pitches are squeezing it out of the borough.
Tower Hamlets Council said the club is “well respected”.
A spokeswoman added: “We value the commitment of local sports clubs and organisations.
“The council does not directly fund any football clubs but we do help and signpost clubs to funding streams.”
It said it helped Senrab get a grant from Tower Hamlets Sports Council in January.