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MANCH­ESTER United Foun­da­tion has re­leased the lat­est film in its in­spi­ra­tional so­cial me­dia cam­paign, #UnitedandMe, fea­tur­ing 12-year-old South African-born pupil, For­tune.

For­tune was born in Jo­han­nes­burg, South Africa. He couldn’t speak any English when he first started school in Eng­land. When he went to Mid­dle­ton Tech­nol­ogy School he met Nick Pearce, his Foun­da­tion coach.

Nick helped For­tune to join the foot­ball team and gave him op­por­tu­ni­ties to help out with younger chil­dren at pri­mary school ses­sions. For­tune has since de­vel­oped greatly in at­ti­tude, con­fi­dence and be­hav­iour.

Quin­ton For­tune was de­lighted to meet his name­sake, and in­vited young For­tune to the Aon Train­ing Com­plex for a tour and a kick about.

For­tune was in awe at be­ing at the train­ing ground for the first time, and at meet­ing the for­mer Manch­ester United and South African mid­fielder.

“It was an hon­our to meet Quin­ton, be­cause I have never met a le­gendary foot­baller, and we have the same back­ground and lots in com­mon. We are both left footed and left handed and also like the same sub­jects at school,” said For­tune.

“It feels like meet­ing my­self,” added Quin­ton. “We have had a sim­i­lar ex­pe­ri­ence be­cause I came over from South Africa when I was 14 and we’ve both had to learn a dif­fer­ent lan­guage.”

The sur­prises did not stop there for For­tune, though.

Half­way through a kick about on the Acad­emy out­door train­ing pitch, he couldn’t be­lieve his eyes when Manch­ester United first-team stars Juan Mata and An­der Her­rera ar­rived bear­ing gifts.

The Span­ish duo joined in some vol­ley foot­ball, be­fore pre­sent­ing young For­tune with an Aon train­ing shirt and tick­ets to the re­cent West Brom match at Old Traf­ford.

“It was a sur­prise be­cause I didn’t know the play­ers were go­ing to come and it feels great that they came just to see me,” said For­tune.

“It means a lot to me l be­cause I think my coach and teach­ers chose me be­cause of my be­hav­iour in classes and de­ter­mi­na­tion. I’ve be­come a bit brave be­cause nowa­days peo­ple around me talk to me and ask me to hang out. I feel proud of my­self that I’ve de­vel­oped from how I was be­fore.

“When I was lit­tle I never thought I was go­ing to be here to­day – I thought I would stay in Zim­babwe for the rest of my life so this is just a dream come true.”

For­tune’s film is avail­able to watch on the Manch­ester United Foun­da­tion YouTube chan­nel, where you can also find out about other in­spi­ra­tional young peo­ple in­volved with the Foun­da­tion.

You can find out more about #UnitedandMe by fol­low­ing Manch­ester United Foun­da­tion on so­cial me­dia and look­ing out for the hash­tag or at­foun­da­ UnitedandMe.

12-year-old For­tune with his name­sake, Quin­ton For­tune

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