Young footballers from Bradley Stoke Youth FC (BSYFC) were given a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to take part as one of the seven teams in the team parade at The FA Community Shield 2017 supported by McDonald’s, on Sunday 6th August.
The BSYFC players formed a guard of honour around the pitch at Wembley Stadium before Emirates FA Cup Winners Arsenal won 4-1 on penalties against Premier League champions Chelsea, in front of over 83,000 fans.
A local “grassroots” team, BSYFC secured their place on the pitch via local McDonald’s franchisee Mike Guerin, who has supported the club for eleven years as part of the McDonald’s Club Twinning Programme.
The programme began in 2008 and has already seen over 1,000 grassroots clubs across the country twinned with McDonald’s restaurants. This is just one of the many ways in which McDonald’s supports accredited grassroots clubs through their Community Partnership with The FA, helping to raise the standards of the grassroots game for all.
Grassroots clubs across the country who are twinned with their local McDonald’s restaurants receive support through the provision of kit and equipment, business advice and assistance with hosting community football events.
Emma Brown, Team Manager at Bradley Stoke Youth FC, said:
“We were extremely grateful to receive the chance to walk out at a sold-out Wembley Stadium. This opportunity comes around once-in-a-lifetime and the kids haven’t stopped talking about it since – they’re all still star struck from seeing their heroes up close! We want to extend our thanks to Mike Guerin as without him and his relationship with McDonald’s, we wouldn’t have opportunities like this. Mike truly has been a fantastic help to the club and we look forward to working with him for years to come.”
Mike Guerin, who is a loyal supporter of grassroots football in the local area, said:
“From working with Bradley Stoke Youth FC, I can truly say that they have deserved this opportunity to walk out on the Wembley turf. The continuous work that they do in the local community is extraordinary and the dedication they show day-to-day is inspiring. I am so glad that they enjoyed the experience.”
This year marks the 15th anniversary of McDonald’s UK Community Football programme, which has consistently promoted a ‘football for all’ approach to community football. Together, McDonald’s and The FA are helping accredited clubs raise the standards at grassroots level by rewarding thousands of hard-working football volunteers, helping clubs to grow by hosting Community Football Days and providing thousands of kits to accredited clubs.
For further information on McDonald’s involvement in grassroots football and to find out how your club could benefit visit www.mcdonalds.co.uk/betterplay
This article originally appeared in the September 2017 issue of the Bradley Stoke Journal news magazine (on pages 2 & 3). The magazine is delivered FREE, EVERY MONTH, to 9,500 homes in Bradley Stoke, Little Stoke and Stoke Lodge. Phone 01454 300 400 to enquire about advertising or leaflet insertion.
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