Every time we turn around lately there are negative stories about teams coming out of the Premier League. Between players getting suspensions over headbutts, racist fans, and players crying over their current playing situation, one has to wonder what the league is coming two. Fortunately a couple of stories coming out of Old Trafford as of late has broken this string of negativity and just in time for the holiday season.
The first story involves several Manchester United players taking part in a charity poker event. Tom Cleverley, Rafael da Silva, Jonny Evans, Darren Fletcher, and Danny Welbeck all took part in the MUFC PartyPoker Challenge recently. The event was a made-for-TV charity event and the beneficiary of the event was an anonymous northern Irish hospice.
Evans was the defending champion of the event having won it last year and was in prime form to win this one. In the end, he faced off against Fletcher for the title and ultimately took down the prize. The United defender proved that he has game in both poker and football and the money raised went to a worthy cause.
Manchester United’s youth squad found out the true spirit of giving this holiday season. For the second year in a row, United’s U-12 squad participated in the Premier League’s Christmas Truce tournament.
United joined West Brom and squad from France, Germany, England, and Belgium in an event that gave the youngsters a hands-on learning experience about the Great War. The event celebrates the Christmas Eve truce between British and German forces at Ypres in 1914. Both sides met and exchanged gifts and even played a match of football.
While the youth squads came together for competition, they all learned about the true meaning of giving and sacrifice as they learned from the example for fallen footballers from the past. The event is likely to continue as the Premier League has an agreement with the UK government to run the tournament through 2014 as part of the centenary remembrance of World War I.
During the holiday season it is important that we take a step back and focus on the positive things in not just our game but in life. Manchester United’s main squad and youth squad have both exhibited what this season is all about and is an example that everyone in the Premier League can follow going into the new year.