Saturday 2nd June marked the Foundation's 6th annual Charity Challenge 7 a-side football tournament, to raise money for the Club's local charity partners. 16 grassroots teams from around the region made their way to the Manchester United first-team training ground for an unforgettable day of football and meeting their United heroes.
Manager of the winning team, Stephen Greal said, “I worked for Diagnostics Associates based in Hyde that supports Francis House. We fundraised to do the Pitch Day at Old Trafford and got trounced so to win today is brilliant." He added, “To be honest, it doesn’t matter if you win or lose, it’s an amazing experience, it’s about the place, the charity, playing football and just enjoying yourself.”
Lou Macari, Norman Whiteside and Paddy Crerand lined up to show their support to all the players taking part:
“One thing is for certain, everyone has enjoyed themselves", said former Red striker, Lou Macari. “Obviously they want to win the competition, but that’s not the number one thing; the main thing is they’re here at Carrington and they’re talking about playing on the same training ground as the players of Manchester United and no matter what fundraising they had to do to get here it is money well spent. After speaking to some of the players I can say that, without a doubt, it’s been the day of their lives.”
After presenting the Winner’s Trophy, '68 European Cup Winner Paddy Crerand remarked, “The lads down here today are not as fit as professional footballers, but the most important thing is they enjoy it and they love playing at the first-team training ground; it’s a big thrill for these players.”
Despite a wet and rainy end to the event, Charity Relationship Manager for the Foundation, Wendy Rennison, could not have been happier:
“What’s so gratifying for my team is the fact that we continue to raise money for the Foundation, Francis House and The Christie, whilst providing such an amazing experience for all these players. Teams have already told us they’ll be fundraising to be back next year.”
View more images from the event on our Facebook page: http://on.fb.me/Ly5B9b
If you are interested in taking part in next year’s Charity Challenge, please contact Geraldine McKiernan on 0161 868 8722.