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Andre Onana surprises participants at Street Reds

The Manchester United goalkeeper joined young people at our Carrick's Street Reds session in Old Trafford

| by Matthew Brown

Andre Onana took time out to visit participants at one of Manchester United Foundation’s Street Reds sessions earlier this month.

Old Trafford Sports Barn – just a mile away from the Theatre of Dreams – is one of 19 Street Reds sites across Greater Manchester. This session has a special connection with former player, Michael Carrick, with it being funded by his own foundation, the Michael Carrick Foundation.

The children had been practising goalkeeping skills in the session, in the weeks leading up to Onana’s visit. But it was to their surprise, and delight, that the Manchester United goalkeeper came to join in with the session – sharing advice and engaging with the young people by signing autographs, answering their questions and posing for photos.

Onana, also the founder of his own charitable foundation, said: “It’s great to be here with the children, because a couple of years ago I was like them. We are in Old Trafford, the big stadium is just around [the corner], I think it’s an extra motivation for them.

“There are so many great children with a lot talent. Giving them some advice is always nice, helping people is one of the best things in life. Looking at how they move, make saves and build up from the back and me helping them – it’s something good, and I’m very happy.

“I think I have to give something back, because a lot of people helped me to become who I am today, so I have to be grateful and help others.”

Onana also handed out goalkeeper gloves to all of the children in the session – as well as one special, signed pair of his own which he awarded to participant, Isaac, for the effort and commitment he demonstrates in this session every week.

Isaac said: “It felt really good to meet Onana at Street Reds, it was a really good opportunity to see him, and it was really nice to get some gloves from him.

“It’s quite an inspiration. I needed some pointers and I was struggling a bit and I felt that he really helped me. It means a lot to me for my confidence. I can put the gloves in my room and know that I’ve had the chance to meet him and take inspiration off him.”

Head coach at the Street Reds site, Joab Westwood, added: “The kids were visibly over the moon and really excited to have Andre here. I think it’s incredible for kids in this area to have a player of his stature coming down to the session to get involved and give them some advice about how to improve as a goalkeeper.”

For more information about the Foundation’s Street Reds sessions, please click here.