Sir Alex Ferguson, Ryan Giggs, Rio Ferdinand, and Patrice Evra joined a host of Manchester United players and management to toast the relaunch of the United for UNICEF charity partnership at a glittering Gala dinner last night. Celebrities from the world of Sport, TV and Showbiz also attended the celebration as the evening’s entertainment got underway.

Last month, Manchester United committed to raise a further £1 million to help save the lives of some the world’s most vulnerable children, through their partnership with UNICEF. Every three seconds, today and every day, a child dies from a preventable cause. The United for UNICEF partnership will fund UNICEF’s crucial work to prevent these unnecessary deaths.

All proceeds from tonight’s event will help to equip 35 child survival centres in Senegal with everything mums and babies need to ensure a child survives their first five years, including providing basic equipment like malaria nets, weighing scales and beds, medication and training for midwives and healthcare staff.

United for UNICEF is the longest running collaboration between a Premiership football club and a global charity and tonight’s event celebrated the tenth anniversary of the partnership, which to date has raised over £2 million, helping over 2.2 million children worldwide.

This year’s event featured a special performance from pop sensation Kim Marsh who entertained guests including Manchester United’s management, players past and present, and celebrities including many of the cast of Coronation Street and Hollyoaks.

A high profile Grand Auction offered an exclusive range of money-can’t-buy prizes, including the chance to skip the 12-month waiting list for the new Aston Martin ‘Rapide’ and the chance to dine with Rio Ferdinand and Ryan Giggs.

Sir Alex Ferguson, Manchester United Manager and UNICEF Ambassador said: “Manchester United is committed to raise at least a further £1 million for UNICEF and this Gala Dinner is the first step towards that goal. The auction prizes this year are second to none so we’re confident we can raise enough to make a real difference. Every three seconds, today and every day, a child dies from a preventable cause. We believe this is wrong and Manchester United are working with UNICEF to put it right.”

David Bull, UNICEF UK Executive Director added: “United for UNICEF is a groundbreaking partnership and we are thrilled to have recently renewed our work together for a further three years. All proceeds from tonight’s event will help to equip 35 child survival centres in Senegal with everything mums and babies need to ensure a child survives their first five years. UNICEF is reliant on partnerships like United for UNICEF and we are very proud to have the support of Manchester United players, management and fans. We are extremely grateful to everyone who attends the evening’s entertainment or bids on the charity auction. Thank you."

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Media Contact

For further information or images please contact Gemma Parkin, UNICEF UK on 020 7375 6077 or email gemmap@unicef.org.uk Press Line: 020 7336 8922

Photography from this evening’s event is available from Getty Images

Notes to Editors:

United for UNICEF:

Manchester United was the first football club to take the initiative in developing an active partnership between UNICEF and the world of football. United for UNICEF was launched in 1999 and is the longest running collaboration between a Premiership football club and a global charity. To date, the club has raised over £2 million helping over 2.2 million children worldwide. Manchester United was one of the first corporate partners to sign up to support UNICEF’s five year global children and AIDS campaign, Unite for Children Unite against AIDS.

Manchester United’s partnership with UNICEF under the ‘United for UNICEF’ brand is managed by the Manchester United Foundation (Trading) Limited.

UNICEF:

UNICEF is the world’s leading organisation working for children and their rights in more than 190 countries. As champion of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, UNICEF works to help every child realise their full potential. Together with our partners, UNICEF delivers health care, nutrition, education and protection to children in urgent need, while working with governments to ensure they deliver on their promise to protect and promote the rights of every child. UNICEF relies entirely on voluntary donations from individuals, governments, institutions and corporations, and is not funded by the UN budget.