Funds for the balls were provided by donations from TRA members and the Foundation will provide logistics for delivery of the balls, along with its own gift and activity pack programme, via its network of partner schools.
The effort has received the seal of approval from terrace hero Marcus Rashford who has commended TRA for their work.
"This is a wonderful gesture from The Red Army,” Marcus said. “Kind acts like this can make such a positive difference across society. I hope that this inspires others to look for ways that they can help those less fortunate this Christmas."
Inspired by Marcus’ charity work and Sir Bobby Charlton’s assertion that ‘a football is the best toy ever invented’, TRA felt compelled to ask for the support of its members to donate to this very worthy cause. Once the money was raised, the group then reached out to the Foundation so that the footballs could be distributed in our partner schools.
2020 has been an incredibly challenging year for everybody, but the Covid-19 pandemic has hit some of the more disadvantaged areas of the community particularly hard. These footballs will go to those children most in need and afford them the right of every child to have something nice on Christmas Day.
“Our members really wanted to help in any way they could and we’d like to thank everyone who generously donated and made it possible,” a TRA spokesperson said. “It’s fantastic to know that 1,000 children will benefit from this and hopefully they can join us inside Old Trafford one day.
“We’re honoured and proud to work alongside Manchester United Foundation to make this happen and thank you to Marcus Rashford for the inspiration.”
Matt Johnson, operations director at Manchester United Foundation, said: “This Christmas is going to be tough for so many young people in Greater Manchester and any act of kindness will make a huge difference.
“It has been quoted by Sir Bobby Charlton that ‘a football is the best toy in the world’, so for The Red Army to raise so much money to help give the gift of a Manchester United football to so many young people is an amazing gesture and will brighten up their Christmas Day.”
If you would like to donate to the Foundation’s Santa’s Red Helpers campaign and help support initiatives like this, please visit https://bit.ly/VMGredhelpers