Academy Under-12s compete in Christmas Truce challenge

Monday 20 November 2023 14:55

Manchester United's Under-12s have been busy in October and November learning about the historic Christmas Truce.

Our Academy is dedicated to educating young Reds on important information that helps them understand the world better, both inside and outside of football.

The Christmas Truce occurred in 1914, when soldiers on the Western Front agreed an unofficial ceasefire and played football in 'no man's land'.

As we approach 25 December 2023, our young players were taught about the significance of the event and played a 'truce' match against Manchester City's Academy.

Our Under-12s took part in a series of workshops, from an interactive session at UA92 - players experienced a 360-degree video of World War One and the Christmas Truce - to the match against City's youngsters.

They were also educated on the Windrush generation - one of the first large groups of post-War West Indian immigrants who were brought to the United Kingdom.

The young Reds also visited the Staffordshire Regiment Museum, where there is a replica of a World War One trench dug out.

Actors re-enacted the Christmas Truce for those in attendance and, as Aston Villa's Academy were also there, our players exchanged gifts with them and had a kickabout in  the 'no-man's land'.

Finally, rounding off the impactful and emotional series of workshops, our Under-12s played our own 'truce' match against City.

After pre-game food at Carrington, United legend Andy Cole - a descendant of the Windrush generation - spoke to both sets of players about his career.

Before the 'truce' match began, poppy garlands were exchanged and 'The Last Post' was played.

To illustrate their knowledge of the Christmas Truce and the impact it has had on them, players were then tasked with presenting the work they created over the course of the consecutive sessions.

Andy Cole scored 121 goals for United between 1995 and 2001.

The Academy's lead education officer, Wayne Cahill, said: "I am thrilled to share the latest education project we have worked on with our Under-12s age group, where we've delved into the historical narratives of the Christmas Truce, paid tribute to the inspiring legacy of Walter Tull, and acknowledged the resilience of the Windrush generation.

"Through this initiative, we're not just shaping football skills; we're fostering a deeper understanding of respect, diversity, and history. This project embodies the core principles of 'A United Education,' creating a rich learning experience that extends beyond the field, connecting generations and cultures through the profound lessons found in football."

The United Academy is dedicated to the continual development of our young players, and learning about such a poignant event in football history is essential to that growth. This series of workshops and sessions are the latest example of our Academy's rounded approach to youth development.