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Scott McTominay and Angel Gomes surprise Street Reds participants

Young people at a Manchester United Foundation football project in Stockport got the surprise of their lives when Manchester United first-team players joined their session recently.

| by Katie Newton

Participants at the Street Reds programme at Werneth School were attending their usual Friday night session, only to be joined by Reds stars Scott McTominay and Angel Gomes.

The players joined in with various drills and games with the children, before posing for photos and signing autographs.

Manchester United midfielder Scott McTominay said: “It’s amazing to be here; I can remember being a young kid and wanting to play football all the time. When you see the smiles on their faces, especially the little ones, it’s great to see them so happy playing football and enjoying it.”

Scott also spoke about the importance of Manchester United Foundation’s work in the local community, adding: “You don’t realise how far the work goes; it’s amazing for the children and something they’ll remember for a long time.”

Team-mate Angel Gomes said: “It’s massive to have session like this for young kids; it keeps them occupied, it’s fun and it’s important to exercise as well.  It’s so important for a club like Manchester United to give back to the community.”

Street Reds participant Shea, 12, said: “It was so weird meeting Scott and Angel because I’ve seen them on TV but to see them in real life, in front of me, is mad!

“I’ve been coming to Street Reds since the very first session; it’s great because it gets you away from playing on the streets and you meet lots of new people.  It’s also helped me improve mentally and physically because I’m better at football now and I’m also a lot more confident.

Street Reds, which is adapted from Premier League Kicks and part-funded by the PL Charitable Fund, runs 48 weeks of the year and takes place at 11 sites across Greater Manchester.  The Werneth site is also funded by Stockport Youth Offending Service and uses the power of football to give young people aged 8-18 an opportunity to pursue their interest in playing, leading and coaching the game. 

The Foundation’s community engagement manager, Philippa Harrison, said: “Street Reds is an engagement opportunity for young people to take part in an evening activity, in a safe environment that’s also fun.

“To see the participants’ faces when the players turned up was fantastic – their excitement was amazing. It’s incredible the Manchester United players are taking time out to meet these kids and give them an experience they’ll never forget.”

For more information and Street Reds session times please click here