Whilst the snow came down outside, we found ourselves warm and cosy at Café Football, as over 100 guests turned up to an FBB fundraising dinner with former England and Manchester United legend Gary Neville.
Some talented FBB participants got the opportunity to utilise their skills and enjoy the spotlight as they kicked off the event.
One of our participants, Rashad, who had the chance to interview Gary Neville for FBB TV two years ago, was interviewed by our Co-Director Jasper Kain, providing an entertaining start to the evening and gave a real insight into the impact of our work.
Another one of our participants, Hashim, hosted our legendary fundraising game Red or Yellow, with the winner lucky enough to win Manchester United shirt signed by Gary Neville himself!
Gary Neville took part in a lengthy Q&A session, sharing his experiences and knowledge of the game with Gary Parkinson, Global Digital Editor of FourFourTwo magazine. He touched upon many of the systemic problems faced by many aspiring young footballers in England, in which he emphasised the responsibility of the older generation to change this broken system. As he noted, ‘young people need to be taught differently, we need to adapt as teachers, as parents, and make them tougher. That means coaching them in different ways, making them more resilient, making them understand more, giving them more responsibility, making them independent thinkers’.
The reality is that only 0.012% of young people playing organised youth football in England succeed in becoming a Premier League player. Here at FBB we seek to prepare young people to likelihood of harnessing their passion for football to ensure they develop the relevant soft skills irrespective of whether they become a professional footballer.
We would like to thank Gary Neville, Café Football and everyone who came through and contributed on the night, with us raising over £2k.The money raised will go towards our Easter school educational programme, as we continue our mission to use football as a tool to educate and inspire a positive change in our community.