Manchester United’s Gary Neville on education for all, champagne socialism and Ronaldo’s comeback

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Presenter Lucy Meacock sits with Manchester United legend Gary Neville.


Former Manchester United player Gary Neville has slammed the government for failing to take care of people who are struggling to make ends meet.

He said he was ashamed to live in a country where people had to choose between eating or heating.

The former defender has launched a new system to bring young people from disadvantaged backgrounds into university.

The Make It For Real program, inspired by the efforts of Marcus Rashford, is with the University Academy which he set up with his former class of 92 players.

People aged 17 to 20 who would have been entitled to free school meals can apply. This is a free £ 5,000 support package that includes the essentials of education.

It helps students travel during their three years of college, along with a laptop and unlimited data.

It also offers meal vouchers for 52 weeks of the year and vouchers to buy essentials for the home.

Currently, only 26% of students eligible for the free school canteen access higher education, compared to 45% of those who do not benefit from a free school canteen.

Gary Nerville Credit: Pennsylvania

Speaking to ITV Granada Reports, Gary had strong words about the government and why he felt he needed to act.

He said: “I no longer rely on the government to do what is right – that is my personal opinion. However, what we can do in the private sector and in other institutions is to do our own thing. better.

“I think that’s what we’re trying to do here, is to put together packages that support young people and give them the opportunity to go to college. I can’t believe I’m saying that because it should be everyone’s choice.

“It shouldn’t depend on your zip code to know if you are getting a high quality education or if you have access to education.”

Gary described the £ 20 universal credit cut as a “ridiculous decision”.

The government introduced the supplement at the start of the first lockdown, insisting it was a temporary measure to help those hardest hit by the pandemic.

“As far as I know, these economic problems are not over, so I don’t know why universal credit is being cut,” he said.

“It’s a ridiculous decision then, just as we start to come out of a pandemic.”

Gary Neville played alongside Cristiano Ronaldo on his first stint with Manchester United in the early 2000s.

He described his re-signing with the club as a “thing of joy” and says it has been moving over the past few weeks to see fans react to his return.

He said: “It’s wonderful. I love what’s going on in the city because of it.

“I like what’s going on in the Premier League because of it and we should continue to enjoy interventions like Ronaldo, Pep Guardiola, Jürgen Klopp – they are great people to come into our leagues.”


For more information on the Make It For Real support package and how to apply, visit www.ua92.ac.uk


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