Despite the miserable weather, the atmosphere inside the Jimmy Murphy visitor’s centre was bright as the 16-strong group were able to watch the first-team train from the balcony before coming face-to-face with their idols as the players made their way around the room, chatting and posing for photographs, as well as signing autographs.
The memorable events take place each season and are organised in association with wish foundations such as Starlight Children’s Foundation and Rays of Sunshine Children’s Charity, organisations that grant wishes to seriously and terminally ill children and adults across the country.
Six-year-old Matthew Townrow travelled from Suffolk for the occasion with his mum, Lisa, who said, “It’s just been amazing and Matthew will never forget meeting everybody that he’s only ever seen on TV. All the players have spent time speaking to him, even his teddy bear has now got a Wayne Rooney signature on it, and I know he’ll talk about it forever.
"Matthew has cerebral palsy, which largely affects his legs with muscle tightness and he is due to have a big operation in two weeks, which is going to help relieve the stiffness in his legs. Today has meant the world to him and will be something that he can take into the operation with him as a real boost.”
Manager David Moyes and first-team coach Phil Neville were also on hand to lend their support and afterwards Phil explained why such events are so special: “It’s probably one of the most important things that we can do as coaching staff and as players. The charities department comes to us about days like this; kids have written in with their dream of meeting the Manchester United team, to come down to the Aon Training Centre and watch training so when they ask if we can make that dream come true, you don’t even need to think about it, it’s a yes.
“There are some fantastic characters in there today and to put a smile on the faces of these families is probably one of my highlights since I’ve come back to the club this season.”
Wendy Rennison, Charity Relationship Manager for the Foundation who organised the Dream Day, concluded, “Every time I looked round the room I saw people with massive smiles on their faces and that’s what it’s all about, creating really special memories for people.”
View images from the Dream Day on Facebook.