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MedEquip4Kids was delighted to welcome nearly 100 guests from the local business community to the opulent surroundings of the Manchester Hall for a networking breakfast hosted by Sam Allardyce, one of English football’s most well-known names.

Born in Dudley, Sam made his debut in football at the age of 15 with Dudley Town, followed by a 21-year career as a professional player. In 1969 he was signed by Bolton Wanderers where he spent nine years. Bolton fans gave him the nickname ‘Super Sam Bionic Man” due to his tough tackling approach and the way he quickly got up after heavy collisions.

Sam later moved into management and managed Blackburn Rovers, West Ham United and Sunderland. He was finally appointed as manager of England in July 2016 before taking charge at Crystal Palace five months later. Martin Hardy of The Independent described him as “one of the pioneers of sports science in English football.”

Once breakfast was served, MedEquip4Kids Chairman Brian White introduced Sam Allardyce, who gave the audience some insights into his career in football management, as well as current and future developments in the sport.

Afterwards guests had the chance to ask him questions. Topics covered included the use of algorithms in the recruitment of players, the importance of leadership and team bonding between players, and who he considered to be the best football club and manager, to which Sam responded with Manchester United and Sir Alex Ferguson.

As well as being a thoroughly enjoyable event, the breakfast raised an amazing £10,000 for the charity. MedEquip4Kids is very grateful to Sam for giving up his time to host it, and to Henry Moser for sponsoring the cost of the breakfast, meaning that all proceeds can go towards benefiting children’s healthcare.

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“The switch adapted toys have been a wonderful addition to our school. Both staff and children were thrilled to have some new exciting resources. The children love the lights and movement many of these switch toys have and are highly motivated to explore and investigate how to make them work. They have been great for pupils to develop their understanding of cause and effect and we have also noticed improved concentration and engagement when using them. Often it can be difficult to find toys that are robust enough to withstand lots of heavy use AND be interesting and fun. These new resources tick all those boxes. They have made a noticeable impact on the children’s development in this area.”

Sophie Martindale
Acorns Primary School, Lancashire

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