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Sir Bobby Charlton visits Swinton school to launch partnership with Manchester United Foundation

Manchester United legend, Sir Bobby Charlton, visited The Swinton High School today to officially launch a partnership with Manchester United Foundation.

| by Katie Newton

Sir Bobby Charlton visits Swinton school to launch partnership with Manchester United Foundation

The Swinton High School is one of only nine schools across Greater Manchester to benefit from such a partnership, through the Foundation’s Hub of the Community programme, which bases full time coaches in targeted areas in order for them to build lasting relationships with the local community. 

Sir Bobby was welcomed by head teacher Mark Harrison before being introduced to group of lucky pupils who were given the opportunity to ask some insightful questions in a Q&A session.  During which, the legendary striker shared the story of England’s momentous World Cup win of 1966 and advised the students to never give up on their dreams.

Sir Bobby was then invited to take part in a Dragons’ Den style assembly in front of the whole school, where pupils from each year group presented business ideas to a panel as the conclusion of an enterprise programme delivered by Foundation coaches.

Sir Bobby commented, “The Foundation is a big success with the work its doing in the community, like here today at Swinton.  I’m really happy and have enjoyed every minute of it here today; it’s just sensational.”

Head teacher Mark Harrison said, “You could see from the reaction of the students, everywhere he went, what an absolute legend and ambassador he is. He really transcends across not just football, but anywhere in the world. The students were bowled over by it; it really brought a high finish to a fantastic day in terms of our enterprise focus.”

Year 11 student and Head Boy, Andrew Smethurst, added, “It’s been fantastic; there’s been a lot of excitement for the pupils. I’ve really enjoyed it and to have an England and United legend come to The Swinton High School has been amazing. The partnership has been fantastic; it’s giving us a lot of opportunities inside and outside of the classroom. We’ve had different sports courses taking place and teambuilding and leadership exercises.”

The visit comes after fellow legend Denis Irwin attended the school last week as former Year 11 pupils returned for a special awards evening. The former United defender was on hand to congratulate pupils on their recent GCSE results and wished them luck in their future endeavours whilst also giving them some invaluable advice.

“These kids have got some big decisions ahead of them, those who have done well and also those who feel they could have done better,” he said. “I had some major blows in the early stages of my professional career, but I managed to bounce back. Sometimes it’s not how you fall down, it’s about how you get back up again and face life.”