(image credit: Macclesfield FC via Facebook)
It’s a tired cliche, but they call football the beautiful game and tonight it’s certainly proven itself to be one of beautiful gestures.
Following the prime minister’s announcement of a second national lockdown from Thursday, the new management at Macclesfield FC decided to take swift action to ensure access to its facilities for local grassroots teams.
Over the next two days, almost 700 kids will train on the hallowed Moss Rose pitch.
A club spokesperson posted on Facebook: “Macclesfield FC has our community at the heart of everything we do – we can’t wait to see so many of you enjoying your football with us.”
It’s not the only thing the club is doing. It’s also encouraging fans to sign a petition calling for supervised, covid-secure youth team sports to be allowed to continue beyond Thursday 5th November.
The MFC spokesperson explained: “Robbie [Savage] passionately believes in the benefits of grassroots football and is a staunch advocate of both the physical and mental benefits that it unquestionably elicits.”
The club will be offering teams of 8-14 year-olds the opportunity to play under the lights at the Moss Rose between 5-9pm on Monday and Tuesday.
The sessions will be completely free of charge, in a gesture which has cemented the club’s newly-reinstated position at the heart of the Macclesfield community.
The club said: “Further to [last night’s] government briefing which raised the possibility of no grassroots football from 5th November until 2nd December, our director of football Robbie Savage – together with Macclesfield FC owner Robert Smethurst – wanted to give as many local junior teams as possible the opportunity to play on their beloved Moss Rose pitch.”
The 45-minute slots have now all been allocated – on a first come first served basis – and will see local youngsters experience the thrills of playing on the same pitch as town legends.
Many took to the club’s social media pages to congratulate them on the kindhearted offer.
Matt O Brien posted: “Absolutely amazing gesture from the club! Brilliant that local players / children will get a brilliant experience just before we enter lockdown again!”
Steve Orme added: “What a change from a few weeks ago. Everything about the club feels right now. I hope the team in place have many years of enjoyment and success.”
Freyja Grenall agreed: “Bringing the family feel back to Macclesfield FC is so wonderful to see. I had so many happy memories there growing up. Well done.”
Clubs understood to be attending include Bollington United JFC, Vale Juniors FC, Buxton FC, Appleton AFC, TJFC and Hurdsfield Phoenix – as well as Macclesfield FC’s own junior teams.