Launch of the project

On the 22nd September 2011 the Manchester YMCA launched its Lottery Heritage funded project in recognition of its many sporting heroes that have achieved phenomenal success over the last century. The launch was kindly sponsored by Peninsular business services and our president Danny McGregor led the proceedings.

Sir Alex Ferguson spoke about the pivotal influence to organisations such as the YMCA can have on determining a young person’s life path…

“The best thing that happened to me was when I went to the Boys Brigade at 8 years old. It teaches you Christian values, discipline, organisation and loyaSir Alex Ferguson launches Manchester YMCA Sporting Heroes project with Jack Crompton and Wilf McGuinnessty. The YMCA has done that as well. When I hear the list of awards from former members here, it’s more than Ryan Giggs has!”

Will McGuiness gave an impressive roll call of the outstanding athletes we have at the club, many of whom were there to receive some well deserved plaudits. The audience were amazed at the successes of people like Fitz Lloyd Walker, Jordanna Bartlett, Dennis Gilligan and family, Josie Cichockyj, Richard Barraclough, Stef Kurpass, Max Shacklady and Nick Kokotalyo, but there were so many more people that could have been mentioned. This is one of the reasons why the project is going ahead; to make sure we honour and recognise all of the incredible sports people that have trained here at the YMCA.

Jack Crompton, who was the Manchester United goal keeper in the 1940’s and 1950’s was also there to receive a plaque and honorary membership in recognition of his contribution to the clubs history by bringing the Busby Babes squad to train here during the 1950’s. Jack joined the YM in 1932 when he was just 11 years old.

The launch was a huge success and generated much excitement for the project.

“Thank you for the invite to the launch last month which I really enjoyed, it was great to hear Wilf Mc Guinness speak so positively about our wonderful club” – Wayne Enstone

“I think the ‘Sporting Heroes’ launch event was superb!” – Gabor Olah