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      Wednesday 17 Mar 2010

      18 footballers from various youth clubs in the Castlereagh Borough Council area recently benefited from the George Best Belfast City Airport’s Community Fund.

      The fund which was set up to support young people within the airports local community, donated 18 signature tracksuits to a group of young footballers setting out to Manchester to play against teenagers in Manchester at Carrington, Manchester United’s state-of-the-art training ground.
      Flying out from George Best Belfast City Airport on St. Patrick’s day on board the Flybe ‘George Best’ aircraft, the boys looked forward to a dream 2 day agenda which included dinner in the Old Trafford Suite, a tour of the Old Trafford stadium and a visit to the Manchester United museum. They also met famous Man U players past and present, including George’s former team-mate, Paddy Crerand, and Denis Irwin, a member of the 1999 treble-winning side.

      The initiative was organized by the George Best Foundation and the Manchester United Foundation. Barbara McNarry, sister of George Best and secretary of the George Best Foundation said: “We are delighted that the Manchester United Foundation have joined us in launching this project, and we are confident that it will be an annual event.

      “It is very appropriate that the teenagers should be from the Castlereagh area, for this is where George grew up and started playing football. I know that he felt honoured to have been made a freeman of the borough.

      Ruth Kimbley, Communications Executive, George Best Belfast City Airport said, “This is exactly what our Community Fund is for. We were honoured to assist in making this visit a truly unique opportunity for the boys, and also to work alongside the George Best Foundation which has carried out inspiring work for community groups in the past.”

      The second leg of the match will take place in Belfast on the 22nd May, George Best’s birthday, when the winner will be graced with a special George Best Memorial Trophy. Although the itinerary for the return visit is to be finalized, it is set to include a reception hosted by the Mayor of Castlereagh, Cllr Lawrence Walker, and a tour of the Parliament Buildings at Stormont.