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Jesse Lingard surprises young United fan

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Michael Plant

Share With facebook Share With whatsapp Share With sina weibo Share With email Amy, a year-eight pupil at the Manchester Health Academy, and also an aspiring footballer, was tricked into thinking she was helping to answer a football question, but was left stunned to find one of her heroes on the other end of the line.“My dad was acting a bit suspicious,”Amy told Jesse, and MUTV’s Mark Sullivan.“I kept asking him what was going on and then my aunty said there was a football question on my conference call.” Amy showed up wearing her Lingard no.14 jersey – something her dad had carefully orchestrated.“I only knew at the last minute that they were doing it, because they were telling me do this and do that. My dad made me take my jacket off and I said: ‘Can I not put it back on? It’s cold’, and he said no.”

During the extended call, Amy asked Jesse about his career, including what was his favourite goal to date, while the midfielder also gave her some great advice on how to achieve her dream of making it as a professional footballer.

“Just work hard and believe in yourself, Amy,”Jesse told her.“Do well in school as well, it’s important to have a good education and to get good grades. That was my back-up, but my main plan was to play for Man United.“It took a lot of hard work, dedication and sacrifice. You might not get to play out [with your friends] as much as you want – you have to be at home practising.“I think you need to be dedicated to the game, make sacrifices and have self-belief. Then, hopefully, you can get to the top and just carry on through. I think you’re on the right path, anyway. I’ve heard really good reviews – just keep it up and keep practising during lockdown.“Work on your weaknesses when you can,” Jesse added. “Now’s the perfect time. Get practising in the garden – get some cones out!”

Amy is involved in Street Reds, one of the many fantastic programmes run by Manchester United Foundation. Lingard has seen first-hand some of the great work our Foundation do, having attended numerous events in recent years, such as visiting his old school in March 2019.

“The work the Foundation do with schools is brilliant and we’re going to try and continue that for the future and hopefully get girls like Amy to the top.

“She loves football, she’s dedicated, she works hard, and as long as she keeps that attitude and remains humble that’ll put her in a perfect position to be successful.

“We want to show our support and give back as well, that’s why we do the Foundation stuff and visit the schools as well.”

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Michael Plant

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