Michael Carrick visited the Street Reds projects organised by the Manchester United Foundation this week to give boots away to lucky youngsters.
The current assistant coach and former club captain, who retired from playing earlier this year, set up his Boot Room initiative after forging a partnership with the Foundation and relaunching the Old Trafford Street Reds scheme in his name.
’Carrick’s Street Reds’ is being funded for the next three years by the Michael Carrick Foundation, through money raised from the ex-midfielder's testimonial match in June 2017 when a friendly between the Reds’ 2008 Champions League-winning side and an All-Star XI attracted a crowd of around 69,000 to the Theatre of Dreams.
Through this partnership, children who attend Street Reds were the first to benefit from Carrick’s Boot Room, which has seen over 1,000 pairs of football boots donated across Greater Manchester to be given away to deserving young people.
“The idea was to give children who maybe haven’t got boots the opportunity to be able to play on a level playing field without pressure or feeling like the odd one out,” said Michael.
“It’s great to see the smiles on the kids’ faces, it really is priceless. I appreciate all the work of both Foundations; it’s great work and the kids certainly benefit from it.”
During the event, Michael took part in a kickabout with the Street Reds participants, much to the delight of nine-year-old Kwabena who said:
“He’s come to see us as a surprise; it makes me feel great and my boots are really cool. It’s the best day of my life.”
The fact the boot giveaway took place so close to the festive period makes the initiative even more special, as Michael explained.
“Christmas can be a mixed time of year,” he said.
“Oobviously some people are fortunate to get what they want and get a lot of things, but some people are not in that position, so it’s nice to be able to make a difference and help out where we can.”
Eight-year-old Georgia was certainly feeling festive as she said:
“It feels nice and refreshing because I haven’t had new boots for a long time; it’s like opening a gift when the shoelaces are tied up and it just feels like Christmas.”
Carrick’s Street Reds is part of Manchester United Foundation’s wider Street Reds programme, which operates in 12 targeted locations across Greater Manchester. Street Reds uses the power of football to offer young people positive opportunities and the chance to play, lead and coach in the game, and all participants will benefit from Carrick’s Boot Room donations over the coming weeks.Reading this in our app? If not, you might miss some exclusive features not found on ManUtd.com. Download the Official App here.
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