0 Football Aid kicks off at United



Season kicks off at Old Trafford

Old Trafford legend Wilf McGuiness was back in the changing rooms of Old Trafford today - not to pull on his boots but to kick off the 2003 Football Aid season.

'To think Football Aid players will play at Old Trafford three days after the Champion's League final, is the stuff boyhood dreams are made of' said Wilf, 'From today fans can visit footballaid.com to bid for their chance to play on their field of dreams'.

Football Aid, a national charity that works with over 40 Scottish and English football clubs, allows fans to play where their heroes play. In teams managed by former club legends, fans play on the hallowed turf wearing the famous jersey.

Football Aid Patron, Sir Bobby Robson attributes Football Aid's success to the unique opportunity to live a dream, 'I've been lucky enough to fulfil my dream of managing the club I've always supported and I know that every fan dreams of running out of the tunnel onto their team's pitch, ' said Sir Bobby.

Football Aid was born two years ago when Scottish businessman Craig Paterson conceived the programme as a means of raising funds for children who suffer from type 1 juvenile diabetes. His own son was diagnosed three years ago at the age of 11. Craig has been overwhelmed by the support the football clubs and authorities have offered the programme.

'We have over 40 of the top UK club's on board and have received unprecedented support from the Scottish Premier League, SFA, FA Premier League, FA and the Football League. The amount of support they have contributed to give fans a cherished memory is fantastic,' said Craig Paterson, Football Aid founder.

'In the first two years of operation, Football Aid has generated £750,000 throughout its bidding period and has already distributed a considerable amount to a variety of charitable causes throughout the UK. With the solid foundations we've worked hard to develop over the past 24 months, we hope to raise over £1 million this year,' said Craig Paterson, Chairman of Football Aid.

Long-term ambitions for Football Aid are to extend beyond the world of football and diversify into the wider sporting community, while always endeavouring to contribute to the community and charitable causes through a focused corporate and social responsibility agenda.

The bidding period will operate from 16 January to 31 March 2003, with places being closed incrementally. To play on your field of dreams, visit www.footballaid.com to bid for a place.

The following clubs are participating in the Football Aid 2003 programme:

Aberdeen Hearts Arsenal Burnley Everton Manchester City QPR West Bromwich Albion
Celtic Hibernian Aston Villa Charlton Athletic Fulham Manchester United Sheffield United West Ham United
Dundee Kilmarnock Birmingham Coventry Ipswich Middlesbrough Southampton Wolves
Dundee United Motherwell Blackburn Rovers Crystal Palace Leeds United Newcastle United Sunderland
Dunfermline Rangers Bolton Wanderers Derby County Liverpool Nottingham Forest Tottenham Hotspur

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