Ole Gunnar Solskjaer talks to event host Geoff Shreeves at the Manchester United Gala Dinner

Gala dinner raises huge sum for United's charity partners

Monday 25 November 2019 23:00

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer led his first-team squad at Old Trafford this evening for a Gala Dinner in aid of the club's charity partners, Manchester United Foundation and Unicef.

The event raised a fantastic, record-breaking £266,000, which will make a difference to children both worldwide and in the local community through Unicef and the Foundation. These funds will go towards helping some of the world’s most vulnerable children affected by disasters and those living in the most disadvantaged areas of Greater Manchester. 

Offering fans the chance to rub shoulders with the United squad, the black-tie event was hosted by Sky Sports reporter Geoff Shreeves, and there was also live entertainment from singer-songwriter JC Stewart and rock band Toploader. 

Fundraising games and a live auction offered guests the chance to win a number of exclusive prizes, including a pair of limited-edition adidas Barcelona ’99 trainers, personally signed and presented to the winning bidder by Ole.
Ole said: "When you see smiles on the children’s faces and when you can give them experiences they wouldn’t normally have, that’s fantastic.

"The projects are fantastic too; kids need education and I’ve seen both charities working in schools and providing opportunities. We know we’re in a fortunate position and we can make a difference."

Funds raised from the gala dinner will be split between Unicef’s Children’s Emergency Fund and Manchester United Foundation. The Emergency Fund allows Unicef to act wherever the needs of children are the greatest around the world. Unicef responds to around 300 humanitarian emergencies each year in some of the most dangerous places across the globe.
Harry Maguire, attending his first Gala Dinner since joining the club in the summer, said: "We want children to grow up with great lives and it’s important for us as players and everyone who works at Manchester United to be role models and give children the best possible life they can have."

Maguire's team-mate for club and country, Marcus Rashford, added: "The players do a lot of work with the Foundation and it’s good to put smiles on kids’ faces. We can change lives by doing that. Credit to the club and Foundation for making it possible."
Harry Maguire and Marcus Rashford speak to the event's host, Geoff Shreeves.
Nick Roseveare, interim executive director, Unicef UK, said: “Thanks to Manchester United, the players and fans, over the last 20 years, United for Unicef has had a huge impact on the lives of millions of children around the world.

"Our partnership has helped rebuild the lives of children caught up in emergencies all over the world, thanks to quick and sustainable support including life-saving food, water and medicines, as well as a safe space to learn and play. Funds raised from tonight's gala dinner will enable Unicef to reach even more of the world's most vulnerable children."

Manchester United Foundation uses the power and passion of the club to engage young people through football coaching, educational programmes and personal development, providing them with opportunities to achieve their goals and change their lives for the better, no matter their background or circumstances.

Foundation chief executive John Shiels said: “Every child matters: that is the only motivation my team needs when delivering our community programmes throughout some of the most deprived areas of Greater Manchester. Evenings like this bring home the value and strength of our United family here at Old Trafford and I’m so proud of the generosity that will go so far this evening.”