Harry Maguire, Wout Weghorst and Jack Butland surprised children from two of Manchester United Foundation’s partner primary schools at Carrington last month.
The Manchester United stars took time out to participate in a series of multi-sport games, answer children’s questions, sign autographs and pose for photos with the young people as they enjoyed an unforgettable day.
Pupils from Bredbury Green Primary School and Vale View Primary School joined the Reds trio, as part of an enriching experience, gained through the Premier League Primary Stars programme. The children played in football, tennis, mini-golf and cricket games alongside their United heroes.
Bredbury Green and Vale View are two of the Foundation’s 28 partner primary schools, where staff deliver the Primary Stars programme among many other initiatives – addressing physical literacy, healthy lifestyles and the broader curriculum – to 5-11 year olds.
Club captain Harry Maguire recognised the importance of meeting the young people and explained how he enjoyed interacting with them, too.
Maguire said: “It’s been great fun having a good time playing some games with the kids. It’s amazing to see smiles on lots of children’s faces. The smiles, energy and excitement, you can feel it from the kids. That’s what they’re so good at, they bring the energy.
“I’ve been here for four years now, we’ve done it as much as we can, and the players want to be involved as much as we can as well. We have a big responsibility on the field at this club, but also off the field.
“We know how closely the club and the Foundation work together and how much it’s grown over the years. As players we have a big responsibility to make sure that keeps growing.”
Meanwhile, Weghorst and Butland were supporting a Foundation event for the first time – with the pair thoroughly enjoying their first experience.
Weghorst said: “You can see that the children are having fun and that’s the most important bit. They play sports together and I think that’s a really good thing.
“Of course, with the big club that we are, it’s really important you can do something for the community, so that’s a good thing.”
Butland said: “It’s a pretty special place to spend the day, hopefully meet a few players that they look up to and have some fun.
“It’s a massive club, massive Foundation, and they’ve put in a lot of effort to give school children plenty of opportunities. It’s great to be a part of it.”
It was a selection of Key Stage 2 children from both schools who had the opportunity to take part in the experience in recognition of their achievements in and out of the classroom.
Vale View pupil Tamia said: “It was very fun because we met players who I’ve watched in the crowd. They were really nice, polite, and they were fun to play against.
“It will help me going forwards by improving my confidence, because I’ve played against players who have helped me, and it’s inspired me to play football for longer and try harder.”
Bredbury Green pupil Phoebe added: “It felt amazing. It was quite shocking at first because our school didn’t tell us what we were doing – then we saw Harry Maguire! This is much more than we expected.
“You’re meeting some of the players, going to the pitch where they train, so you get to really feel what that’s like.”