Rio and Ryan applaud the crowd at Open Training 2011

Reds train at OT

Around 13,000 fans turned out to Old Trafford today despite the rain for this year's Open Training fundraising event.

The event was a huge success and raised over £60,000 for the Foundation and its disability football programme. 

Fans got an exclusive chance to see the club's summer signings and the rest of the squad put through their paces just 24 hours before the Community Shield against Manchester City at Wembley.

Proceeds from the day will go towards developing disabilty football provision. The money raised will help us to run more sessions, improve facilities, buy new equipment and develop our programme to offer more opportunities for the community. 

Some of the Foundation's disability players led the First Team team out onto the pitch and even stayed around for a kick around with the likes of Rooney, Nani and Ferdinand.  

"My dreams have come true today," said Danny Boylan, Foundation coach and player.  "To be able to play football with my heroes on the Old Trafford pitch was just amazing.  And from a coaching point of view to meet the likes of Sir Alex Ferguson and Rene was just unbelievable."

The Foundation's disability programme runs throughout the season and offers football opportunities for children and adults.  Sessions are fun and exciting and are based around football skills and coordination.

Adam Calow, coach and player for the Foundation, explains why the programme has been so beneficial to him:

"When I was born things didn't go as planned and as a result I have quadriplegic Cerebral Palsy and Epilepsy.  As a young boy my dream was to play football and become a football coach but with the type of disability I have that seemed always to be just a dream.  I never played for my school team or even just had a kick about with my mates.  That was until I went to a Cerebral Palsy festival day hosted by the Foundation.  I joined in on a level playing field, met loads of new friends and got to play proper football."

Through playing football my legs are stronger my balance has improved and I can now run. Without the Manchester United Foundation none of my football dreams and ambitions would have been fulfilled.  Coaching and playing football are the two best things in my life."

If you want to support the Manchester United Foundation you can do this in the following ways: 

1) Donate online via  justgiving.com/manutd
2) Text Believe to 70777 (UK only) Texts cost £3 plus your standard network rate.  The whole £3 goes to the Foundation.
3) Wear your support – 
buy a charity wristband

Tweet about this event #mufctraining.



Date: 03 August 2011