A group of Chilean miners who survived the San José mine accident earlier this year have arrived at Old Trafford after accepting an invitation from United and Concha y Toro.
The 23 miners, accompanied by Chilean football legend Elías Figueroa, were welcomed on Sunday at a dinner hosted by Sir Bobby Charlton, who paid tribute to the courage shown by the miners in their 69-day underground fight for their lives from August to October.
"I can’t believe these are the same people the whole world dropped everything for," said Sir Bobby. "You took it in your stride and everyone around the world is very proud of you."
On Monday, the miners are taking part in a training session at Carrington, before watching the Reds’ match against Arsenal in the evening.
United manager Sir Alex Ferguson is looking forward to meeting a group of people for whom he has huge respect.
"It’s fantastic that they’re coming," he said. "We’re doing a training session and I’m looking forward to seeing them. These are people who showed real substance and perseverance to make sure they survived.
"There are examples in life which you should always take note of. I mean, the life of a miner, having to work in the bowels of the earth and not being able to see anything. That’s a great sacrifice to earn your living. I’m sure they’ll enjoy themselves on their trip."