With the festive period fast approaching, Manchester United wanted to find an exciting way to reach out to its fans around the world to wish them a Merry Christmas.
Together with 250 children from local partner schools of Manchester United Foundation, staff from across the Club got together to construct a human Christmas tree in the seating area of the Sir Alex Ferguson Stand. Club legends Paddy Crerand, Alex Stepney and Clayton Blackmore plus mascot Fred the Red also featured in the exciting project.
The pupils, from Astley Sports College, Broadoak School, Irlam and Cadishead College, Stretford High School and Swinton High School, were invited to be involved through Manchester United Foundation's Hub of the Community scheme, which bases full-time community development officers in schools across Greater Manchester.& The aim is to develop strong links with the local community and deliver projects to educate, motivate and inspire young people.
Chris Hurst, teacher at Stretford High School, said, "It was a fantastic experience to be part of the official Manchester United Christmas card photo shoot. I'm sure the final image will look unbelievable because, from where we were standing, the sight of hundreds of people in a Christmas tree formation was pretty impressive!"
Manchester United chief operating officer Michael Bolingbroke, who addressed the crowd at the event, said, "This was an ambitious project and we're delighted with the result. On behalf of everyone at the Club, I would like to thank the school children who took part – it was fantastic to have them involved.
"We now look forward to a busy festive period of matches and hope all our fans have a very Merry Christmas, with best wishes for the New Year."
The Manchester United Christmas card will be sent out to fans this week via the Club's media platforms and a behind the scenes video is available to view by visiting www.manutd.com/ChristmasTree