Uckfield Rotary Club visit the Amex

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THE lean outlines and fighting fitness might have been left a bit behind, but Uckfield Rotary Club members looked pretty much at home as they posed in the changing room at Brighton and Hove Albion’s Amex Stadium last week.

Eighteen members, partners and friends enjoyed a guided tour around the new Falmer ground.

Member Roy Thompson said: “Our two guides were really good and showed us many important parts of the stadium which would be impossible to see on a busy match day.”

They checked out the visitors’ changing room, feeling it was a good size but a bit basic. The home team’s dressing room, on the other hand, they said was great with warm-up rooms, treatment rooms and deep, cold baths at 10F which all players have to endure for at least five minutes after matches.

Roy went on: “We saw the 1901 lounges which are well fitted with one holding 650 and the other about 350 siting down for lunch before the games. Then it was onward into one of the executive suites which can seat 10. It was good to see that many local firms are generously supporting these.”

Next on the tour came a chance to see the pitch. Groundsmen were busy with handmowers and a spraying machine.

The visitors were told that before the first foundation was laid, about 140,000 tons of soil were moved with many local businesses involved in the project. The Seagulls have recently won a nationwide award for using mainly UK-produced steel. The club employs between 250 to 300 staff including 10 groundsmen.

Roy was grateful Rotarians were able to visit as he said there is a waiting list because of such high demand.

He noted visiting teams’ supporters are accommodated in the south stand. And thoughtfully, for each visiting team, caterers buy in their favourite local brew. For Cardiff this is Brains Beer.

He concluded: “What more can you say about the Seagulls? Players, manager, directors and staff are all flying.

“We wish them well and look forward to the additional seating. Gus is such a good manager we need to hold into him for the next few seasons.”