Football stalwarts Dave and Marion Picter, who have supported Malmesbury youth football for 21 years, opened new £300,000 club premises on Saturday.

Club secretary Mrs Picter and her husband, who does general maintenance, had no idea that they were to perform the opening ceremony when they went to the launch at the Red Bull ground.

Mrs Picter said: “It was a really nice gesture of the club and totally unexpected.”

Former chairman Dave Buckley, who managed the project, said: “We kept it a surprise and it really went down well.”

The new building caters for under 16s and has four changing rooms for teams, two for referees and toilets. Solar panels provide heating and rainwater is used to flush the loos.

Mr Buckley is delighted with the building which replaces portable cabins and a single toilet.

He said: “We have a 35 year lease and the building should last between 30 and 50 years. Now when we go up to the ground it feels permanent.

“It has been a real team effort, we’ve had so many supporters and it was great to see everybody together.”

Funding came from the Football Foundation and other groups.

Mr Buckley said: “We were fortunate to get much of the funding before the recession.

“I know money is tight at the moment. I wanted to get an AstroTurf pitch as well but we couldn’t afford that.”

Wiltshire Council deputy leader John Thompson, Mayor Katherine Doody and Mike Benson from Wiltshire FA attended the launch.