Homeless people from across the country came to Manchester United Foundation’s Cliff Training ground, in Salford, on Wednesday 12th March to take part in the first of a series of invitation-only trials to select England’s Homeless World Cup team for 2008.
One hundred players selected at regional trials held across the country visited The Cliff for the first time in the hope of being selected for the England Team. Once selected, the team of eight players will travel to Melbourne, Australia, in November to take part in the international Homeless World Cup tournament.
Manchester United Foundation coaches are on hand to train and select players at the trials which will be held on a monthly basis until the final team is selected.
Richard Brown, England team manager from The Big Issue in the North, which is organising the team, said: “This is the sixth year running that The Big Issue in the North has worked with Manchester United to organise the England team for the Homeless World Cup. It’s fantastic that the Foundation continue to show their support for this fantastic project which literally can change people’s lives.”
Previous England team members have gone on to do coaching courses, play for non-league football teams such as Stafford Rangers, find full time employment and have been re-united with family members.
John Shiels, Chief Executive, Manchester United Foundation said: "We are proud to be associated with such a positive event which is proven to have a lasting impact on the people involved."
Players must be aged 16 or over, have a valid passport and be classed as homeless - which may mean living in a hostel, in supported accommodation or staying in insecure accommodation - such as sleeping on a friend’s floor.