In what has been a challenging season due to Covid-19, both players and members of the PFA have been recognised for their contribution to Manchester United Foundation and the wider community.
Harry was nominated for the award after taking part in a number of Foundation initiatives throughout the season. At Christmas he sent virtual messages of support to patients and staff at children’s hospitals across Greater Manchester as well as visiting Old Trafford to support the Foundation’s Santa’s Red Helpers appeal. The campaign saw Harry represent the entire first-team squad and the players’ donation of £250,000 to provide food, gifts and support to vulnerable children in the local community. He also recently supported the Foundation’s wellbeing initiative to tackle mental health in young people.
Harry’s charitable efforts throughout the pandemic were also felt in his hometown of Sheffield where he supported elderly residents with Christmas and Easter hampers as well as sponsoring his first grassroots team Brunsmeer Athletic FC.
On receiving the award, Harry said: “In what has been an unprecedented season for everyone, I’m honoured to receive the PFA Community Champion Award 2020/21. This past year we’ve seen how important it is to stand united and support those who need it most.
“The Foundation has been an ongoing pillar of the community throughout Covid-19 and I’m proud to have worked so closely with them during this difficult time. My teammates and I look forward to continuing this work into next season in an effort to make a positive impact on the young people of Greater Manchester and beyond.”
Manchester United Women defender Amy Turner has also been nominated for the award due to her impact on young people throughout the season. Amy has volunteered her time with virtual messages and sessions for young people across the Foundation’s projects.
This season Amy has sent messages of support to children’s hospitals across Greater Manchester and took part in virtual Q&As with Ulster University and Manchester United’s Girls’ Regional Talent Club. Amy was able share her experiences of lockdown and some of the challenges she has faced and overcome, inspiring the students and young footballers.
When presented with the award, Amy said: “I'm delighted to receive the PFA Community Champion award this season. The Foundation has been an amazing support for young people across Greater Manchester, not only during the pandemic, but for so many years now.
“I’ve been proud to support their work and have seen first-hand the impact they have in the community. As players it’s so important to give back and I’m grateful for the opportunity to help inspire the next generation.”
Each season players are nominated for going above and beyond in their support of the Foundation and the local communities. Harry and Amy follow in the footsteps of United players Marcus Rashford and Jackie Groenen who won the award for charitable efforts last season.
The PFA’s director of corporate social responsibility, John Hudson, said: “The PFA has been immensely proud of the outstanding efforts of players during a very difficult season and we feel they should be recognised for their support and involvement in the local community.
“The award will hopefully raise awareness of the importance many of our members attach to their roles off the pitch and highlight their commitment to support those most in need during the crisis. We would like to offer our congratulations to this season’s recipients of the 2020/21 PFA Community Champion Award.”