United players send season’s greetings

The Manchester United first team and women’s team honoured the annual tradition of sending season’s greetings and gifts to the children and young people at Francis House.

People stood wearing PPE with gifts from Man United

The Manchester United first team and women’s team honoured the annual tradition of sending season’s greetings and gifts to the children and young people at Francis House.

For the first time in 20 years, due to the current COVID-19 restrictions, players were unable to deliver gifts in person this Christmas. Instead, players sent presents and virtual messages of support to patients and staff at Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital and The Christie, and to the families and staff at Francis House Children’s Hospice.

Thanking staff for their continued hard work and sending positive messages to help raise the spirits of the young people, both teams sent an array of United-themed presents including shirts, hats and scarves to spread some festive joy.

United manager, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

In his message United manager, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said: “I wanted to say thank you to all the brilliant staff at Francis House, I know all about the great work you are doing with the kids every year, so I just wanted to say thank you from everyone at Man United.”

Manchester United Women’s team head coach, Casey Stoney MBE added: “We are really sorry we can’t visit you this year, on behalf of the club and the players we want to wish you a very merry Christmas.”

Manchester United Women’s team head coach, Casey Stoney MBE

Manchester United Foundation lead the Christmas visits each year on behalf of the club, and, this year, staff delivered over 500 gifts to the hospice and hospitals.

David Ireland, chief executive of Francis House Children’s Hospice, also reflected on the importance of Manchester United’s support, this year in particular: “Winter is always a very difficult time for our families because of all the normal ailments and hospital appointments, but, under the current circumstances, it’s even more difficult.

“This visit and the gifts are a real lift for everybody. For some people here, any interaction with Manchester United is absolutely brilliant; they are great supporters and follow every match, so it’s a great thing for them.

“In these difficult times, it’s great for everybody to do what they can to help those most in need in the community and that’s certainly something we’ve seen from Manchester United Foundation.”

Virtual messages of support from the United players.

The virtual messages of support continued from the players as they wished everyone at Francis House a happy Christmas and hoped that the presents would bring them some joy.

This support follows on from Manchester United Foundation and the club’s ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the Santa’s Red Helpers campaign in which staff and players have financially supported Christmas presents and food parcels for those who may otherwise go without.

To find out more visit mufoundation.org

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