Christian Eriksen paid a surprise visit to an Old Trafford primary school just before Christmas

The Foundation continues its meaningful work in the community.

Danny Jones Danny Jones - 2nd January 2024

In one last bit of retrospective and heartwarming news from 2023, Manchester United footballer Chrisitan Eriksen paid a surprise visit to a local primary school in Stretford this past December.

Rocking up to the St Alphonsus Primary School in Old Trafford, the Man United Foundation‘s partnered school just before the festive period, the Danish midfielder, surprised a wide-eyed group of year five and six students with a day of conversation, fun and games — as well as a bit of footy, of course.

Welcomed by headteacher Tina Birds as part of a joint charity effort with the Foundation and BBC’s Match of the Day, Christian helped with reading, plenty of PE in line with the Premier League Primary Stars programme and even a session of ‘Goalball’: an inclusive sport designed for the visually impaired.

Having been injured for a good chunk of the season and only just returning to first-team football, the 31-year-old was keen to make the most of his time on the sidelines and get involved with the Foundation and the programme delivered across its 28 partnered schools.

Christian said of his wholesome morning on 13 December, “It’s amazing to be at the school and see all the kids and what they’ve been doing with the Foundation.


“The children and their parents come to the stadium and watch games; they give encouragement to us on the pitch, so by coming into the local community and meeting the children, it’s a really nice thing to do. It’s very important for me to give back as a Manchester United player. I’m very pleased to be here.”

Reflecting on the impact of the visit, headteacher Birds said, “It has been a wonderful day. Seeing the children’s reactions to Eriksen walking through and participating in the activities that the Foundation were doing – it was absolutely amazing. I will remember it as a headteacher for a long, long time.


“Working with the Foundation and the Premier League Primary Stars programme is all about bringing communities together and it’s so important for my school that we are part of this community… it gives the pupils that aspiration that we really instil in school, and that’s what this programme does brilliantly.”

Starstruck St Alphonsus pupil, Siver, said she was “shocked and happy” to meet the Man United star, adding, “I could never have imagined that. I think it’s important because many people look up to him and everyone admires him.”

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Throughout each season, the Manchester United Foundation works in partnership with local primary schools around Greater Manchester and beyond to help develop and improve the well-being and life skills of children aged 5-11.


Working alongside the Premier League Primary Stars programme and in line with the national curriculum, the team’s charity arm addresses physical literacy, healthy lifestyles and the broader curriculum.

Man United’s Chief Operating Officer (COO) Collette Roche was announced as the new Chair of the Foundation following the departure of CEO Richard Arnold in November last year and looks to continue the organisation’s important work throughout the local community.

We hope to see more surprise visits from key figures around the club and important initiatives like this in 2024.

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Featured Image — Manchester United Foundation (supplied)