Born in Newcastle, Michael attended the Wallsend Boys Club from the age of 4 to 15 years old, along with his brother Graeme. The Club, where Michael’s dad had volunteered for years, helps young people harness their potential, develop their football skills and raise their aspirations whilst being a role model in their community and beyond.
Growing up in an area of high deprivation, at Wallsend, Michael learned the skills, respect and discipline needed to become a confident and positive member of society. The support and services available to him helped him become the man he is today, both on and off the pitch.
Michael’s early experiences have inspired him to give something back, leading to his commitment to invest in and support much needed children’s services in the communities close to his heart. At this time these services need help more than ever:
- 3.7 million children currently live in poverty in the UK - over a quarter of all children
- Cuts in youth services in the previous two financial years amount to £123 million
- A total of 377 children’s centres in England were closed between 2010 and 2016
- 1 in 3 children are overweight or obese by the time they leave primary school