Helensburgh Football Club will name its new food and equipment facilities after late club icon John ‘Jockey’ Charman. The facilities include a new canteen, BBQ, and equipment shed, replacing ones that had been used for half a century.

“These facilities have been used by the club for a long time now and we felt it was finally time to give them the upgrade they deserve,” Club President Bob Hennessy said.

“Both the canteen and the BBQ area are bigger and safer than before and will allow us to serve a wider variety of foods at both senior and junior club games.”

The new equipment shed will replace old shipping containers, a move that is expected to improve the overall look of the club.

“Shipping containers are useful but they look ugly, especially if we want to make a bid for the South Coast Premier League. The new shed will allow us to be more organised and look better,” Hennessy said.

Mr Charman, or ‘Jockey’ as he was affectionately known around the club, died on October 2016. His involvement with the club spanned 90 years, including playing and coaching. As a coach for various women’s teams in the ’50s and ’60s,he was credited with popularising the sport with women in Helensburgh.

“(John) loved watching other people, especially children, develop their passion for the game. By naming it after him, we hope to continue this spirit and passion. Jockey was about giving everyone a go and we want to reflect that with this,” Hennessy said.

The project has been four years in the making, with discussions and planning beginning in 2014. Funding was raised through government and business grants, and fundraisers held by the club.

Mr Hennessy said other upgrades to the ground are planned, including better fencing for the oval and grandstand upgrades.

The official opening is Saturday, April 14.