A footballer dropped into his old school for a kickabout with pupils on the official opening of their new all-weather games pitch.

Tommie Hoban, 19, a defender for Watford FC, spoke to children and handed out awards during the opening at Loyola Preparatory School in Buckhurst Hill yesterday.

The Palmerston Road school’s bursar, Maria Rosario, said: “The opening was a lot of fun. Tommy spent time with the children and had a chat and also attended a special assembly.

“The all-weather pitch is used for a lot of things, including rugby, football and cricket. The kids love it.”