United announce new documentary series

Friday 03 May 2024 17:00

Manchester United are excited to celebrate the continued success and significance of our world-leading Academy with the launch of ‘Lifeblood’, a new story-driven documentary series utilising exclusive behind-the-scenes access to explore what drives the achievements and the philosophy of youth development at the club.

In anticipation of a landmark 250th Academy graduate making a first-team debut, achieved by Stockport-born striker Ethan Wheatley in April, club media have followed players, parents and staff to explore the workings of one of the world’s most cherished sporting institutions.

Interviews with current first-team graduates will emphasise how the Academy’s core values mould successful people on and off the pitch.

Watch the opening scene of ‘Lifeblood: History’ Video

Watch the opening scene of ‘Lifeblood: History’

OPENING SCENE | Watch as youth expert Harry Robinson introduces the first film in our new series, 'Lifeblood'...

Alejandro Garnacho will discuss how those pulling on a red shirt in 2024 are educated on those in whose footsteps they follow, while Scott McTominay returns to the Academy building to learn the sports science techniques used to help maximise the potential of every young person in the Academy’s care.

The series also explores how players like Marcus Rashford, Kobbie Mainoo and Willy Kambwala became the first-team regulars they are today. Academy staff, from Adam Lawrence and Travis Binnion (Head of Player Development and Coaching] to stalwart Tony Whelan [Academy Programme Advisor], will divulge their expertise, exploring the techniques they use and the culture they commit to creating when they join the club.

Lifeblood will show special moments throughout the Academy journey, including the Under-9s receiving their very first United kit as well as the high-intensity training sessions of the Under-21s on a mid-season training camp in the south of France.

The first of our 'Lifeblood' films will soon be available to watch for MUTV subscribers on ManUtd.com, the official club app and the club channel, with the rest of the series rolling out later this summer.

Ian Nolan, Chief Content Officer, said: “It is one of the greatest stories in world sports. For 90 years a thread of DNA has woven itself through the fabric of this club, from the Busby Babes and George Best, to the Class of '92 - Giggs, Beckham Neville, and today’s crop that fly the flag. 

“It was a privilege to be allowed behind the scenes and under the bonnet, to tell the story of the Academy through those that work there today, and those that passed through before. Our cameras were allowed to capture intimate, often private scenes, to showcase the Academy’s unique ethos to the development of young people. It is a must watch for any sports fan, or anyone with kids aspiring to become the next Alejandro Garnacho.”

Nick Cox, Director of Academy, said: “We know youth development plays a role in our club like at no other. The Academy and youth have supported Manchester United through our darkest moments and lifted us to our greatest heights, from Munich and 1968 to the Treble and much more. Hitting the 250th graduate landmark recently provided an opportunity to celebrate the great players and staff that have built a legacy, one nearly a century old, of developing homegrown players here. I’m excited that this documentary series will share an in-depth insight into our Academy, showing how the right environment is carefully created by a fantastic team of staff and by the amazing young people in our care."

Top 20 goals by Academy graduates Video

Top 20 goals by Academy graduates

COUNTDOWN | Watching this compilation of legendary goals make us so proud of the players we've produced...

Presenter and Old Trafford season-ticket holder Harry Robinson said: “As a United fan, I don’t think there are many better feelings than seeing a young Academy player come good. The buzz around Old Trafford, and now online too, is hard to beat. And that age-old question pipes up time and time again: where has this kid come from? Well, Lifeblood will show you. It has been an immense privilege to go behind the scenes at Carrington, The Cliff, Old Trafford and elsewhere to learn how such a talented group of players and staff are committed to elite youth development, all the while maintaining a genuine family feel to the place. I can’t wait for other Reds around the world to see these special moments, never captured before, which have been a part of the journeys of players now lighting up Old Trafford week after week.”

'Lifeblood' will be available to MUTV subscribers via the United App, ManUtd.com and the club's linear channel.

MUTV Originals about our graduates:

  • Eric Harrison's Class of '92 Video

    Eric Harrison's Class of '92

    MUTV Original | Watch our film on our 1992 FA Youth Cup-winning side and legendary coach Eric Harrison...

  • Sir Bobby: The Greatest Video

    Sir Bobby: The Greatest

    MUTV Original | First shown in 2016, this special documentary celebrates one of football's greatest-ever players...

  • Take A Bow, David Beckham Video

    Take A Bow, David Beckham

    MUTV Original | Watch our film about David Beckham's iconic goal v Wimbledon and his legendary career...

  • El Beatle Video

    El Beatle

    MUTV Original | The story of George Best and his nickname, earned after a stand-out showing against Benfica in 1966...

  • Rashford | 100 goals and me Video

    Rashford | 100 goals and me

    Special interview | Marcus has opened up on a pivotal year, his love for United and a deep connection to Old Trafford...

  • Behind the scenes of Garnacho's big day Video

    Behind the scenes of Garnacho's big day

    A Day In The Life | Here's another chance to watch Garna's new-contract day, featuring an EPIC speech from Ten Hag...