Revealed: How much the Foundation raised in Perth
Manchester United won two games, scored six goals and completed over a dozen quality training sessions in Perth, yet the most impactful number from our stay in Australia is arguably 178,000.
Amazingly, with donations still being counted, we expect that fantastic number to rise even further during the comings days and weeks.
So, how has this amount been reached, and why? Scroll down to find out…
Fans flock to training session gallery
Check out these pics of the Reds training in front of almost 12,000 excited supporters in Perth.
The club’s invaluable Foundation was represented on the pre-season tour by chief executive John Shiels, who oversaw a series of fundraising events.
The idea was to create a ‘legacy fund’, with half being left behind in Perth and the other half heading back to Manchester.
It all began with an open training session at the WACA, where over 12,000 local United supporters each paid $5 for the experience of watching Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s squad up close and personal.
That type of event was once a regular fixture on the club’s pre-season tours and, after an absence in recent summers, its return was deemed an incredible and uplifting success for everyone involved.
It was a genuinely joyous evening in Perth which, most importantly, raised money for good causes in the process.
Among the many highlights of the occasion was a very special moment that saw the squad’s goalkeeping department invite two aspiring stoppers onto the field to take part in their workout, creating memories that they will never forget. You can relive their experience in the video below.
One of those was a glitzy gala dinner that was attended by over 500 paying guests, along with club legends Bryan Robson and Denis Irwin – who are both long-term supporters of the Foundation.
Much to the delight of the room, United manager Solskjaer also attended, and even surprised organisers by willingly walking on stage, uninvited, to personally thank the crowd for their support.
It was another moment of class from the Norwegian club legend, who then politely posed for hundreds of ‘selfies’ after a massive line was formed by those in the room.
A second dinner on a much smaller scale took place days later, this time with around 10 high-rolling supporters paying large sums to eat with the boss, Michael Carrick, Mike Phelan and others.
The trip was clearly a magnificent success for the Foundation and Shiels is delighted by the way it all unfolded, with so many children now set to benefit from the funds raised.
“This is the first time we have tried anything on this scale,” the Foundation chief told us last week.
“The idea is to bring some of the funds back to Manchester to help the Foundation, but also to leave a legacy fund here in Perth and Western Australia. I am just ecstatic and elated that we could do something that will leave such a fantastic legacy.”
To learn more about the Manchester United Foundation, just visit www.MUfoundation.org.