Club News

Cityzens Giving for Recovery auction winners meet Manchester City stars

Manchester City stars Kevin De Bruyne, Ilkay Gundogan, Raheem Sterling and Phil Foden have all recently taken part in virtual meet and greets with lucky winners of our Cityzens Giving for Recovery sweepstake and auction, which took place earlier this year.

The auction, which raised vital funds to help communities get back on their feet in the wake of the pandemic, provided fans with an opportunity to speak to their on-pitch heroes.

With bids coming in from all over the world, four lucky winners were given the chance to meet first-team players through a virtual call.

In the United States, big City fans and father and son duo, Nate and Drew, had the chance to speak to Kevin De Bruyne and hear behind-the-scenes insight on life as a professional footballer.

Their highlights included Kevin’s encouragement to focus on having fun when playing football, and the sound travel advice to ‘don’t forget your umbrella’ when you come to Manchester!

“It was amazing to talk to my favourite player and it is still hard for me to believe that it actually happened. I am so glad that he took the time to talk to me. Kevin was so nice to talk to and funny." - Drew (age 9).

Season-ticket holders David and his son Jake met another Manchester local in their call, speaking to Phil Foden.

They heard Phil retell his version of his brilliant solo goal away at Liverpool in February of this year.

“Being able to speak to Phil Foden live via video was an incredible experience! One that I will always remember!” - Jake (age 11)

Roary, a young City fan from Manchester, met Ilkay Gundogan, hearing about his experiences living in the city, playing for the club and working with Pep.

They even got into a discussion about Turkish and British cuisine!

Roary is currently undergoing treatment for leukaemia at Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital and loved being able to connect with one of his favourite City stars.

“It was a brilliant experience, I was nervous at first and was hoping I didn't forget my questions but Ilkay was so nice and friendly that it felt like I had chatted to him before!”Roary (age 9).

Raheem Sterling met Abdulrahman and Kaliam, two fans and community football participants in London. Raheem shared his own experiences growing up in London and how enjoyable he found playing football within his own community.

“It was a once in a lifetime opportunity to speak to a Man City star and England international. Raheem gave us an insight on what it’s like being a professional footballer and the importance of believing in yourself.” - Kaliam.

All funds raised from the Cityzens Giving for Recovery auction were matched by City Football Group and are funding projects in ten cities around the world, all helping to get communities back on their feet in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Locally in Manchester, the funds raised helped City in the Community (CITC) to develop a new wellbeing programme, City Thrive, which harnesses the power of football to help provide support for thousands of young people aged 14 to 25.

A dedicated team has developed a new mental health curriculum, blending specially adapted football sessions with one-to-one mentoring and group workshops on mental health awareness, to improve mental wellbeing.

To find out more about City in the Community projects, and to celebrate the 35th anniversary since their inception in 1986, click HERE.

Every penny raised throughout the month of October will help to further support CITC’s new mental health programme, City Thrive.

Keep an eye out how you can get involved soon!