Held in association with Starlight Children’s Foundation, The Willow Foundation and When you Wish Upon a Star, this was the latest of Manchester United Foundation’s biannual Dream Days for children and adults with serious and life-limiting illnesses.
In the glorious sunshine at the Carrington-based training ground, the special guests watched a full first-team training session before heading inside the Jimmy Murphy Visitors’ Centre to meet their idols.
After signing autographs and posing for photos, midfielder Michael Carrick explained more about why getting involved in the club’s charitable activities is so important to the players.
“It’s vital to do things like this,” said Michael. “We try to do as much as we can for the Foundation. We don’t take for granted the position we are in, so if we can help other people in certain ways then that’s what we are here to do.”
Manchester United has hosted Dream Days for over 20 years; Foundation charity relationship manager Wendy Rennison explained more about the day:
“We aim to hold two or three Dream Days a season. We work with various wish foundations that write to the club and ask if we can grant the wishes of the children and adults they work with. We invite them to the training ground; they watch training, meet the team and have a bite to eat before heading off to Old Trafford for a tour of the stadium.”
For the fans who attend, the event can provide a vital boost at a time when they need it most. Dillon Chapman, 11, from Somerset, who suffers from Neurofibromatosis, a condition that has caused tumours to grow on the nerve endings of his left leg, was thrilled to attend:
“We are very lucky to actually meet the players and get their autographs. I really wanted to see Rooney, Mata, Fellaini and De Gea and when I saw them I thought, ‘Wow, this is amazing!’ I was jumping for joy inside. I would give today a million out of ten.”
View images from the Dream Day on Facebook.