EA Sports opens ‘Rocky and Wrighty Arena’ at Ian Wright’s former school

EA Sports EA FC Futures Rocky and Wrighty Arena11 April 2023Picture By Mark Robinson.

ARSENAL legend Ian Wright returned to his former school to open the ‘Rocky and Wrighty Arena’ at Turnham Academy in Brockley, South London.

The new floodlit 3G pitch is funded by EA Sports, developer of the FIFA 23 video game, and The Football Foundation.

Arsenal legend Ian Wright and Chelsea Women’s Manager Emma Hayes attended the unveiling on Tuesday

EA Sports EA FC Futures Rocky and Wrighty Arena
11 April 2023
Picture By Mark Robinson.The new floodlit pitch at Turnham Academy in South London provides a safe space for youth teams to play

A mural of Ian Wright and his former Arsenal team-mate David Rocastle graces the pitch, painted by local artist Lionel Stanhope.

Members of David Rocastle’s family also attended the unveiling. ‘Rocky’ tragically died in 2001, aged just 33.

Both Rocastle and Wright went to Turnham Academy, and the new pitch overlooks the estate in which the two friends and Gunners legends grew up.

During the opening of the pitch, EA Sports announced its new community football initiative, FC Futures.

The game developer plans to invest in grassroots football projects around the globe over a period of three years.

Ian Wright and Chelsea Women’s Manager Emma Hayes, who also attended the event, are the first FC Futures ambassadors.

The new initiative comes right after the unveiling of EA Sports’ new logo and brand identity for the EA Sports FC series of football games.

EA Sports FC is the new name for the long-running FIFA football video game series.

The new brand will be used following the end of the licensing partnership between EA and football’s top governing body, FIFA, last year.

“I’m delighted to be an ambassador for EA Sports FC Futures”, said Ian Wright.

“This is where football starts, right here in our communities and investing in the game is a crucial step toward advancing global football. 

“I’m grateful my old school can play a part in the future of football, and it’s an honour to be involved.”, he added.

The pitch at Turnham Academy is the first of several investments under the FC Futures programme.

It’s equipped with floodlights providing a safe space for youth teams and community organisations to play football after school.

“Growing up in London, I was always looking for a way to get onto the pitch,” said Chelsea Women’s manager Emma Hayes.

“I’m ecstatic that women and underrepresented talent are getting the resources many of us didn’t.”

Aside from funding football facilities worldwide, as part of the FC Futures initiative, EA will also offer coaching resources in five languages.

The developer will also provide equipment for school clubs as part of the programme.

More information about the next entry in the rebranded EA Sports FC game series is coming in July.

Written by Stoyan Ovcharov and Alex Bugg on behalf of GLHF.