A FORMER Sunderland football captain joined university players to celebrate the opening of a new pitch,

Sunderland AFC player Kevin Ball, who played nearly 350 games for the club, joined an "All Stars" team for an exhibition match at Durham University.

The match was to celebrate the opening of a new rubber crumb sports pitch at Collingwood College, which has been put in thanks to £580,000 raised by former students.

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The team including the ex-Black Cats captain, the university's vice-chancellor Professor Stuart Corbridge, director of university experience Quentin Sloper, Peter Warburton, dean of Experience Durham and Collingwood principal Prof Joe Elliott were playing against a Collingwood XI.

Prof Elliott said: “We’re very grateful to the many friends and alumni who have helped with this new development, and it was great to have the Vice-Chancellor and so many senior members of the University here to support this event.

“As well as our various sports clubs, we’re hoping that some of the children’s teams in the county will have an opportunity to use the facilities here.”