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Red News 27th May 2020

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  • #16
    A Leeds Rugby League player remembers going to spend a day with MUFC, along with his team-mates ... and they loved it ...


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    Matt Adamson

    “I penned a letter to Sir Alex Ferguson saying how I really wanted to establish a strong culture at the Rhinos,”

    “I wanted to spend a day where we could listen, look and learn how people behave in that professional environment down at Carrington where Manchester United train.

    “I went to Gary Hetherington and asked if I could try organise it and see if I could take the guys down there as a bit of a surprise. He said yeah and to just check with Daryl, who was fine with it, so I wrote the letter to Sir Alex.

    “I’ll never forget because it was only about two days later when I came home and the wife asked me ‘Who’s Alex?’ She said that there was a message on the family email from Alex and I said ‘I don’t have a clue who Alex is, you tell me.’

    “So I went on the computer and there is this letter from Alex Ferguson saying we would love to have another professional sporting team come down. He put me in touch with their operations manager Clive Snell and said he will take charge of everything.

    “Sir Alex said you can’t obviously train with us but you can listen, learn and tour the stadium, so I went to Daryl and Gary and said ‘I’ve got everything going but can we tell the boys we are going go-karting?’ We wanted to make it a bit of a surprise.”

    “I’ll never forget it, big Barrie McDermott said ‘bloody hell Adamson what we going to Manchester for, there is go-karting in Pontefract!’ Some of the lads were really excited for go-carting but as the trip wore on down the M62, you could feel the tension on the bus and some of the lads were questioning what the hell what was happening.

    “I said to Daryl that when we get close I will get up and make the announcement because as soon as we turned in towards Carrington they were going to smell a rat. So we are about 20 minutes away, I got up and said ‘sorry boys I have told you a bit of a furphy, I just want to let you know we are not going go-karting today, we’re off to spend the day with Manchester United.’

    “Well the boys went berserk, I’ll never forget Danny McGuire and Robbie Burrow were big Leeds United fans and the whole bus just starts going nuts. Then we turn up at the training ground and of course the first thing you see is all their cars, the boys weren’t even worried about going to look at the training centre, they just wanted to look at the cars.”

    “There was all the introductions and we went in the cafeteria and Sir Alex was in there. He welcomed me in and took me into his office. He said ‘I really take my hat off to you for taking the initiative and trying to improve your club.’ He just made me feel like a million dollars and you could see why people love playing for him because that’s how he made you feel.

    “We went out into the training area where the boys were and out they all came, and they were all great. The likes of Paul Scholes, Roy Keane, they all stopped and had a yarn with us and David Beckham was there at the time too. It was just an incredible experience and the players were just like us, they were just blokes who had a craft and did their job. We hung out afterwards as well, it was a great day for the club.”
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