Sir Alex Ferguson welcomed a new member to his squad when he met guide dog puppy Titan at Manchester United’s Carrington training ground.
After intensive training, the ten-month-old Labrador/Retriever cross will be ready to become a guide dog and transform the life of someone living with sight loss.
David De Gea, Anders Lindegaard, Ben Amos and Sam Johnstone raised £1,000 for Guide Dogs by donating training ground fines.
Goalkeeping coach Eric Steele said: “Once the goalkeepers knew the money was going towards training a guide dog they were more than happy to donate the fines. We took a vote among the players and chose the name Titan because we wanted a good strong boy’s name, and he is definitely a big strong boy!
“We take our support of good causes very seriously and Guide Dogs is extremely deserving. We wish Titan all the best and hope he will go on to make a massive difference to someone who’s lost their sight.”
Titan will do his training at Guide Dogs’ training school in Atherton, near Manchester. Volunteer puppy walker Kay Kelly, from Stockport, has been looking after Titan since he was six-weeks-old, preparing him for his intensive training.
She said: “It was fantastic for us to come here and meet the Manchester United players. Titan’s had a great time and loved being the centre of attention. The players and staff at the club have been brilliant with him.”
Lisa O’Neill at Guide Dogs said: “We’re really grateful for Manchester United’s support. Their backing means Titan has a great chance of going on to help someone with sight loss get out and about on their own terms, giving them back their freedom and independence.”
The club also donated a signed football as a raffle prize at this summer’s Specsavers Guide Dog of the Year Awards. Titan met Sir Alex and the Manchester United goalkeepers on Friday, 11 May, 2012.