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Bryan Robson Signing Autographs in Asia

Legends go East for Charity

Two of the club’s greats unite with UNICEF for a memorable tour of Asia.

| by Daniel Boylan

Legends go East for Charity

Manchester United heroes Bryan Robson and Andrew Cole embarked on a whistle stop fundraising tour of Asia to help with the club’s commitment to raise £1 million for international charity partner UNICEF. The pair, joined by Manchester United Foundation Chief Executive John Shiels, also visited existing UNICEF projects in Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur and Hong Kong.

During the visit to Bangkok, the Reds representatives were able to see first hand the hardships faced by vulnerable young people and learn how the support of United for UNICEF has changed and enriched their lives. United idol Bryan Robson commented, “Sport can play an important role in helping marginalised and vulnerable adolescents cope with and overcome the challenges in their lives”. Robson fondly known as Captain Marvel, being United’s longest serving skipper, lead from the front in true Red style. He put the youngsters through their paces in shooting practice and even took penalties against one of the young aspiring goalkeepers.

The trio of guests were also invited to see the work done away from the football field at the Baan Phumej Reception Home for Boys where they visited children in the music room and the pottery workshop, as well as the barber’s shop with Robson even stopping for a quick trim. The aim of this particular project is to help disadvantaged young people grow into well-rounded adults, as Robson said: “It’s not just about bringing kids off the street, it’s about educating them how to not end up back on the streets. It’s about trying to get these older boys some employment so they can learn a trade." 

Cole and Robson were VIP guests at the Legends on Tour charity dinners, held to raise funds for UNICEF and the Manchester United Foundation through a charity auction of Reds merchandise and unique United prizes. Travel operator Turkish Airlines and mobile phone network provider Telecom Malaysia sponsored the events to help the club towards its fundraising target and improving the lives of vulnerable children in Asia.

As the final whistle blew on the legends' tour it was clear that whilst the experiences and hard work done by all would live long in the memory, another mile-stone on the journey being undertaken by United for UNICEF and the legacy it can provide for future generations, summed up by Captain Marvel himself saying, “When you see facilities like this, no wonder Manchester United want to be involved with UNICEF.”