ENGLAND captain Rio Ferdinand was in Haringey yesterday to open a amateur football club's new clubhouse.

The Manchester United star visited Alexandra Park Football Club in Wood Green as part of an energy-saving initiative which has seen the clubhouse fitted with state-of-the-art technology.

The £40,000 refurbishment will see the club cut its energy costs by 40 per cent and see money reinvested into providing kit and equipment for the eight men's teams, 24 youth teams, women's team and senior team.

Mr Ferdinand said: “Regardless of the level, all football clubs are looking at ways to save money and become more sustainable.

“Clubs like Alexandra Park who, like thousands across the country, are at the heart of local communities up and down the country, are struggling to make ends meet due to ever-increasing running costs.

“But as you can see from the work carried out here today, even by introducing some simple measures, clubs can start to use their energy more wisely and save money. I started my career in similar surroundings south of the river.”

The work includes a fully insulated loft, energy-saving lighting, efficient heating and new showers and radiators.

The water heater, which replaces an old urn, also means staff can boil up to 50 cups of tea every 20 minutes allowing the club to sell a lot more hot drinks on a match day.

Club chairman Tony Bent expects this alone to generate a further £1,000 a year for the club.

Mr Bent said: “We’re absolutely thrilled to welcome Rio Ferdinand to Alexandra Park today to unveil our new energy efficient clubhouse.

“We are very proud of our club, its heritage and the role it plays within the local community.

“In recent years though, high running costs, like energy bills, have drained valuable funds which ordinarily would have been reinvested into the club to safeguard its future.”

The refurbishment was carried out by FA Cup sponsors E.ON as part of their Energy Fit campaign to improve energy efficiency at amateur football clubs.