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Recognising Romone

Read about our school partnership officers' journey from United Academy graduate to the Foundation.

| by Nathan Thomas

Youth. Courage. Success. A mantra and a call to action for all associated with Manchester United and its esteemed Academy. It is a philosophy that the Foundation use to inspire young people across Manchester to find their own passions, in football, in business, in the arts, whichever route they choose.

Romone Blackett is one of the Foundation’s many dedicated staff members who work in schools and projects across Greater Manchester, supporting young people – many of whom have faced very difficult challenges in their lives – to have the courage to succeed. Romone’s work at Loreto High School in Chorlton was recently rewarded, when he was nominated for the Leadership & Empowerment award at the CAHN (Caribbean and African Health Network) awards, finishing runner-up at a ceremony held at Lancashire Cricket Club last month.

Romone’s story with United goes back much further, however, as he first came to the club as a budding young player at the age of seven - following in the footsteps of his cousin Tyler - to represent United’s Academy for eight years in the age group above that of Marcus Rashford and Scott McTominay. He would go on to leave the club and enjoy spells at Wigan Athletic and Blackpool, before embarking on a new path away from a career on the pitch.


“I contacted John Shiels (Foundation CEO) to see if there might be an opportunity for me,” Romone told us. “After I stopped playing, I found that young family members were asking me for advice about football, and I really enjoyed helping and mentoring them, so working for the Foundation, coaching and supporting young people, seemed an obvious place to start.

“Thankfully, there was an opening in the team that work in primary schools, where I worked before moving onto my current role at Loreto.”


Romone’s story is very typical of the way that the club and wider United family seek to support former players, helping to provide further opportunities for them at the end of their playing career – in Romone’s case, by connecting him to the Foundation.

“My time at the Academy was really special, working with fantastic coaches like Dave Whelan, Mark Dempsey, Rene Meulensteen and Paul McGuinness who helped mould me into the man I am today. I am truly grateful for that.” Ramone said.

“They helped me to develop as a professional and as a person, equipping me to deal with set-backs and how to channel those experiences positively, something that enabled me to build a rapport with the students at my school.

I always encourage them to believe in themselves, apply themselves and most importantly work hard. I want to give them a chance, just as the Academy did with me.”


It's clear to see Romone’s passion for his work, something that he hopes he can continue to do for years to come.


“It’s a joy to work at Loreto and see the impact we make,” he added. “We had a visit from Fred and Alejandro Garnacho last season, which was amazing for the kids.

“I honestly love doing what I do, so any recognition really is just a bonus, though I was truly honoured to be nominated for the CAHN award. For me, it shows we’re doing really good things in Manchester”