A stun­ning sur­prise for Boro fans

Middlesbrough Herald & Post - - HERALD & POST -

BORO fans were stunned af­ter walk­ing into the team’s dress­ing room – and find­ing their own names where those of their heroes should be.

Mem­bers of the MFC Foun­da­tion’s dis­abil­ity foot­ball team were treated to a sta­dium tour, where per­son­alised kits were re­vealed.

Cries of “This is amaz­ing”, “I can’t be­lieve it” and “I’m so happy”, were heard from the group.

But per­haps more in­spir­ing is the self­less act that led to the oc­ca­sion.

In an in­spir­ing part­ner­ship, 16 to 24-year-olds not cur­rently in education or employment have been work­ing with the group by coaching them, help­ing them with their com­mu­ni­ca­tions skills and giv­ing them all-round gen­eral sup­port.

As part of the Pre­mier League Works Pro­gramme, the young­sters were tasked to set a fundrais­ing goal in or­der to buy new strips for the dis­abled team.

Af­ter rais­ing the £500 to pur­chase the kits, the dis­abil­ity group were in­vited for a tour of the River­side Sta­dium.

The team then made their way into the chang­ing rooms, only to see their own shirts hang­ing up.

Jonathan Bul­lock, or­gan­iser of the Pre­mier League Works Pro­gramme’s fundrais­ing com­mit­tee said: “We loved work­ing with the dis­abil­ity group and, as soon as we found out we had to do a so­cial ac­tion project, there was only one thing we wanted to do it for.

“We’ve all worked so hard to raise the funds to buy them the kit they de­serve, and all that ef­fort really paid off when we saw the re­ac­tions on their faces when they saw the shirts. It’s one of the best things I’ve ever done.”

Af­ter spend­ing time find­ing out their names, favourite colours and num­bers, the group took part in a num­ber of fundrais­ing activities, in­clud­ing a spon­sored climb of the lo­cal “Three Peaks” (Es­ton Nab, Rose­berry Top­ping and Cap­tain Cook’s Mon­u­ment), as well as a spon­sored cy­cle in the Cleve­land Cen­tre along­side the PL Works Am­bas­sadors, Mid­dles­brough FC’s Marten de Roon and Vik­tor Fis­cher.

Les Curvis, Pre­mier League Works course lead, added: “They have been one of the best bunches of lads I have ever worked with.

“They are an in­cred­i­bly self­less bunch, but the mo­ment I saw some of the par­tic­i­pants from the group welling up and shed­ding tears of joy, it made me so proud of my group.”

The dis­abil­ity team trains ev­ery Fri­day at the Her­ling­shaw Cen­tre with coaches from the MFC Foun­da­tion.

Pre­mier League Works uses the power of foot­ball clubs and the Pre­mier League to en­gage young peo­ple who are not in­volved in education, train­ing or employment.

Fans dur­ing their tour of the Boro sta­dium

Dis­abled Boro fans dur­ing their tour of the sta­dium

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