In celebration of the 110th anniversary of Old Trafford, art students from a Foundation partner school were invited to the stadium for a special visit, featuring a surprise appearance from Manchester United legends.
A group of year 10 pupils from The Oldham Academy North have spent the past term working on a design project inspired by the upcoming milestone anniversary of Old Trafford for their GCSE coursework. The students were invited to display their artwork and have a rare employability session with some of Manchester United’s top designers: art director Andy Ball, motion graphics designer Helena Masterson and web designer Dan James. The team talked through their different roles at the club, sharing career advice as well as discussing their own journey to Manchester United.
Later the students had the opportunity to experience the stadium for real, unaware that Manchester United legends Andrew Cole, Bryan Robson, Wes Brown and Denis Irwin would be there to greet them. The pupils couldn’t hide their excitement as they spoke with the ex-players about their design project whilst posing for photos and signing certificates.
Dami, 14, enjoyed learning about the design careers within the club. “It’s interesting to find out about the designers’ work,” he said. “I see the pictures on social media all the time and it’s interesting to see the work that goes in to it.”
Dami continued: “The Foundation working in our school, and getting to have these experiences, makes me want to do better for myself.”
Classmate Shuheb, 15, also enjoyed the day. He said: “Coming here today and meeting the legends has really inspired me because I want to work in the design or creative industry.”
Art teacher Elaine Cooke also shared the children’s delight in meeting the legends. She said: “They really loved getting their artwork signed, which I think just adds something special to the project. I think they were a bit star-struck.”
Elaine continued: “It’s been great hearing about all the different job roles within the design team and the different pathways from GCSE right the way through from college to university. “I hope they take away from today that there are opportunities on our doorstep and that everyone who spoke today has been educated in the North West region. It’s making the children aware that there huge opportunities right here within Greater Manchester.”