Manchester United Foundation Deliver Degree Scholarships in Honour of Sir Alex Ferguson and Sir Bobby Charlton

Two scholarships on the Manchester United Foundation’s undergraduate Sport and Youth Leadership degree are to be named after the legendary figures and have been endorsed by Sir Alex and the Charlton family. The degree will be delivered collaboratively with Manchester Metropolitan University. Scholarship places will be funded by the Foundation and targeted at those who traditionally may not have found higher education accessible.


Manchester United Foundation is delighted to announce that two scholarship places will be awarded to students on the BSc (Hons) Sport and Youth Leadership degree, starting in September 2023 at Manchester Metropolitan University. The places will be named after two of the most important figures in Manchester United history – Sir Alex Ferguson and Sir Bobby Charlton.


The degree will provide students with the tools and skills they need to help transform young lives through football, providing educational principles, coaching practice, and real-world experience with coaches at Foundation projects across Greater Manchester.


Both Sir Alex and Sir Bobby are synonymous with Manchester United’s commitment to developing and nurturing the talents of young people, something that the Foundation does all year round through its work in schools and community settings across the region. Sir Alex Ferguson said: “It’s wonderful that the Foundation has been able to offer two scholarship places on this fantastic degree. Without any doubt, it will give these youngsters a chance to grow and develop key skills for employment in sport and coaching.


“In my time as Manchester United manager, we always strived to support our young players coming through and, most importantly, give them a chance. When you do this, they very seldom let you down. And so, I couldn’t be more proud to put my name to a scholarship as a mark of the continuation of that philosophy.”


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Lady Norma Charlton, wife of Sir Bobby, said: “My husband’s long association with Manchester United came as a result of him being given an opportunity as a young boy from Ashington, all those years ago. I know how proud it makes him feel to see the club continuing to do this with young people, not only on the pitch, but also in the community through the amazing work of the Foundation. As a family, we couldn’t be happier to see Bobby’s name used to support another young person in achieving their dreams.”


Students who have faced extra challenges in their lives – such as being the main carer in a family, living with a disability or currently being in receipt of free school meals – will be given the opportunity to apply for a scholarship place ahead of the first year of delivery.


John Shiels, Chief Executive of Manchester United Foundation, said: “Our whole ethos is around ensuring young people have the opportunity to better themselves, to grow, to learn and to achieve what they want in life. We know that not all young people are fortunate enough to have this kind of support, which is why we felt passionately about providing these scholarship places for our exciting new degree.


“Sir Alex and Sir Bobby are synonymous with this ideal, which is why it is so fitting that the scholarships will carry their names. We are confident that the link to two men who symbolise Manchester United’s commitment to youth can further inspire the recipients to reach their full potential.


“This course will not only enrich the students’ own skillset, but it will also give them the opportunity to change hundreds and thousands of young lives in the future. The generational impact from this course will hopefully be felt for years to come.”


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Professor Malcolm Press, Vice Chancellor of Manchester Metropolitan University, said: “Manchester United and Manchester Metropolitan University are both centres of excellence, firmly rooted in this great global city, and dedicated to supporting talented young people.


“We are honoured to be hosting scholarships named after two sportsmen with such great achievements and outstanding reputations. Together, we hope to inspire the next generation of sporting leaders.”


Students who are interested in applying for a scholarship place can find out more about the BSc (Hons) Sport and Youth Leadership degree, and how to register your interest in a scholarship, by visiting:


By: Callum McFadden / @Callum7McFadden

@GabFoligno / Matthew Ashton – AMA / Getty Images