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Sir Bobby and Lady Norma Charlton launch partner school in Blackley

Sir Bobby and Lady Norma Charlton visit Manchester Creative and Media Academy in Blackley to launch an official partnership with Manchester United Foundation.

| by Haylee Blease

The Academy, part of the co-operative academies trust, is the latest to join the Foundation’s partner schools programme, which bases a full-time coach at the school to work with pupils and within the local community to build lasting relationships and reputations.

The couple met with excited staff and students before taking a seat in the school’s auditorium to watch performances from the school choir, year 7 boys dance group and an individual lyrical dance, before being invited up to celebrate the partnership by unveiling a commemorative plaque. 

Foundation Coach Chris Dearden, who is based full time at the Academy, took the opportunity to introduce the couple to a group of promising students who have recently completed a Junior Football Leaders Award. The United legend also met young people who recently attended a Show Racism the Red Card workshop with Luke Shaw at the Aon Training Complex. 

The Year 8 Manchester Creative and Media Academy boys’ football team also took time to show off their own Manchester Schools trophy much to the delight of the United man.

16-year-old Manchester Creative and Media Academy pupil Ali explained what the visit meant to him and his classmates: “Meeting Sir Bobby was an amazing feeling and as I’m a Manchester United fan and I just never thought I’d get to meet such a legend, I guess I’ve been really lucky.”

Headteacher Rebecca Smith said, “It’s absolutely unique and quite unbelievable to have such a legend in our school, and to see him being so relaxed and talking children really epitomises all we’re trying to build in young people today."

She added, “To be working with an organisation such as the Foundation is really important; the idea that when we talk about excellence, when we talk about high aspiration, happiness and success, all those things are what the Foundation stands for.  We’ve also been able to give our pupils unique opportunities; not many people can say they have met Sir Bobby so this is a real big occasion for us.”