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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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“This donation has enabled us to use more varied and useful therapeutic toys and games when working with children and young people with mental health difficulties, as well as using extra clinic rooms which are now more child-friendly. This has helped reduced anxiety about coming to CAMHS and meant that family therapy can be done. Both parents of a 10 year old boy can now attend with their 5 year old as the youngest child can play with our new resources in the waiting room or clinic space. The 10 year old benefited from therapeutic games about thoughts/feelings and we were also able to observe imaginative play for assessment.”

Dr Eleanor Oswald
Clinical Psychologist, CAMHS
Vale of Leven Hospital

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