Academy Host Inaugural ‘United Celebration’

Monday 06 February 2023 14:48

Last week Manchester United Academy held it’s first ‘A United Celebration’ awards evening.

The evening gave the Academy the opportunity to look back on a successful year on and off the pitch and celebrate the achievements and personal development of its young players.

The event at Old Trafford was attended by 600 guests with all players from Under-9s through to Under-16s present along with their parents and United staff.

The awards were presented by Head of Academy, Nick Cox, and Manchester United legend, Bryan Robson and Premier League Head of Education and Player Care, David Rainford.

A United Celebration Video

A United Celebration

Our Academy hosted a special awards afternoon, 'A United Celebration', to champion the achievements of our youngsters...

In an impactful and inspiring evening, those in attendance heard from various current academy players and former graduates including Tom Heaton, Jonny Evans, Charlie Savage, Rhys Bennett, Tosin Kehinde, Joe Riley, Adam Thurstan and Daniel Polakowski.

Each of whom highlighted the enriching journey that they went on with the academy and the memories that they created for life whilst coming through United’s world-leading youth development system.

Boys were presented with awards for their educational and community achievements.  A number of players were recognised as ‘project champions’ for various pieces of work including the Munich memorial, Christmas Truce, The Holocaust and the Duke of Edinburgh award.

Educational Achievement awards were also handed out to one player in the Foundation Phase and another in the Youth Development Phase. One player from each age group was awarded for Outstanding Contribution to the Community.

Former Academy players were also presented with awards on the night with Paul McShane receiving The Tony Whelan Alumni Award for achievements in football, and Joe Thompson winning The Dave Bushell Alumni Award for his commitment to lifelong learning.

Current Academy Staff were also recognised with Graham Buckingham, and John Canny winning ‘Outstanding Staff’ awards which were voted by the young players themselves. 

From the Under-9s to Under-16s, hundreds of our Academy players attended 'A United Celebration'.

Nick Cox, Head of Academy, said: “This was a really special evening and one of the proudest moments of the year for our Academy.

“Academies are amazing environments, in which boys thrive and develop significantly from a football, education and personality perspective. I am really proud of the work that goes on here and across the country.  

“As an Academy we pride ourselves on providing players with a life enriching and world class experience that creates long lasting memories and develops skills that equip boys for adult life.

“The awards event was a great moment to reminisce over the significance of the boy’s achievements throughout the past year.

It is a privilege to work with these players and staff, coming together everyday in the pursuit of development, we look forward to returning next year to celebrate just how far everyone has come.”