The Manchester United assistant coach forged a partnership with the Foundation earlier this year and relaunched the Old Trafford Street Reds project in his name. ‘Carrick’s Street Reds’ will be funded for the next three years by the Michael Carrick Foundation, through money raised from Michael’s testimonial in June 2017.
Through this partnership, children who attend Street Reds were the first to benefit from Carrick’s Boot Room, which has seen over 1,000 pairs of football boots be donated across Greater Manchester to be given away to deserving young people.
“The idea was to give children who maybe haven’t got boots the opportunity to be able to play on a level playing field without pressure or feeling like the odd one out,” said Michael. “It’s great to see the smiles on the kids’ faces, it really is priceless. I appreciate all the work of both Foundations; it’s great work and the kids certainly benefit from it. “
During the event, Michael took part in a kick about with the Street Reds participants, much to the delight of nine-year-old Kwabena: “He’s come to see us as a surprise; it makes me feel great and my boots are really cool,” he said. “It’s the best day of my life.”
The boot giveaway taking place so close to Christmas makes the initiative even more special, as Michael explains: “Christmas can be a mixed time of year; obviously some people are fortunate to get what they want and get a lot of things, but some people are not that position, so it’s nice to be able to make a difference and help out where we can.”
Eight-year-old Georgia was certainly feeling festive as she said, “It feels nice and refreshing because I haven’t had new boots for a long time; it’s like opening a gift when the shoe laces are tied up and it just feels like Christmas.”
Carrick’s Street Reds is part of Manchester United Foundation’s wider Street Reds programme which operates in twelve targeted locations across Greater Manchester. Street Reds use the power of football to offer young people positive opportunities and the chance to play, lead and coach the game and all participants will benefit from Carrick’s Boot Room donations over the coming weeks.