Michael Carrick launches football project in Newcastle
Carrick’s Kicks will officially start in August at sites in both North Shields and Byker.
Carrick is one of the many famous footballers to have progressed through Wallsend Boys Club, while he was profiled on BBC Live and Kicking back in February 4, 1995, as a future star.
Back then he was a centre-forward, but it was as a midfielder that Carrick went on to represent his country and star for Man United in the Premier League. Now Carrick is determined to offer Tyneside children the same opportunities he enjoyed during his childhood.
“For me, Wallsend Boys Clubs was a massive part of my childhood,” the recently-retired midfielder said as he launched his ‘Carrick’s Kicks’ programme at North Shields’ The Parks.
“I was fortunate enough to have that on my doorstep. It was a place to grow and develop. It was safe and enjoyable. I learned so many different things, responsibilities and discipline.
“It wasn’t just about the football, it was about growing as a person. I’ve always been conscious of how lucky I was, and I wanted to give something back in some way. This is why we’re here.
“I’ve been thinking for quite some time now how I could give something back. The two cities – Newcastle and Manchester – are close to my heart for so many different reasons. I’ve thought for quite a long time about doing it. It’s something I’m passionate about.
“Coming from Wallsend, I was always going to do something in Newcastle. It was just about putting things in place and doing it right.
“Now we’re in a really good situation. I’m fortunate to be in a position to put things together.”
It was his father, Vince, who first got the midfielder involved with Wallsend Boys Club through his role as a volunteer.
Carrick Snr was present in North Shields alongside his two sons, Michael and Graeme, to officially launch the initiative on Monday – and it was evident that this project means a lot to all three of them.
“The North East was massive for me and I knew from an early age when I was playing I would give something back to the area,” Carrick added.
“I wanted to do something in Manchester, because that’s a massive part of me and where I got the opportunity to launch the Foundation through the testimonial.
“My mum and dad, my brother, my wife and all her family are still here. I get up here as much as I can.
“My kids love coming here. It’s just part of my life, a big part of my life. Even though I left when I was 15 or 16, it’s never left me.
“This was always going to happen. Thankfully, we’ve done it.”