Players from City men’s and women’s teams delivered five, turbo-charged powerchairs to participants from City in the Community’s flagship disability programme after fans fuelled a fundraising mission to raise £21,000 for the cause.
Wilfried Bony, Richard Wright, Lucy Bronze and Natasha Harding surprised 20 participants from City’s powerchair football team, Newbridge Specialist School and Lancasterian School with the ‘Storm 3’ powerchairs,that can reach the speed of 6mph during a match.
The players then took to the pitch for a competitive game and penalty shootout against the youngsters.
The chairs will create even more opportunities for young people with disabilities who use power wheelchairs and will enhance City in the Community’s disability programme that already provides free accessible football opportunities to 1,500 people across Manchester.
Judith Lamb, Head of School at New Bridge, said: “Staff and students from New Bridge School have been coaching and taking part in weekly wheelchair football sessions with City in the Community for the past three years.
"Their hard work and commitment has not only had a great impact on our own school community but has opened the sport up to young people with physical impairments across Oldham and Greater Manchester. These new chairs will be a fantastic addition and we can’t wait to get our students playing.”
Paul Kelly, Disability Co-Ordinator for City in the Community, said: “Without this programme today, these wheelchair users would be sat at home. When I was young, I played football seven days a week – why shouldn’t wheelchair users play football seven days a week?”
“When you see the faces of the young boys and girls, it’s priceless! They’re never going to forget this – thank you to all of our fans who helped make it possible!”
The activity was also featured on Match of the Day, as part of our community feature, last Sunday morning! Did you catch it?
City in the Community will be continuing to fundraise for an additional five powerchairs. To find out more about City in the Community’s programmes, visit mcfc.co.uk/community.