MANCHESTER CITY and United have come together to pledge £1m to the We Love Manchester Emergency Fund on a day the city prepared to offer up a defiant message that it is open for business.
Both clubs pledged the sum to the fund which was set up to assist the families and dependants of the 22 people who died in the Manchester Arena terrorist attack, which also left 64 people injured, many of them critically.
Sir Alex Ferguson has praised Manchester’s unity in the wake of Monday’s terrorist attack and underlined the significance of United’s Europa League success over Ajax.
Ferguson paid tribute to the victims and thinks his former side’s 2-0 victory over Ajax in the final of the Europa League may have helped to raise spirits during a desperate week.
He told Sky Sports News: “First of all, Manchester is a working class city and it has fantastic people there. They went through some difficult times in the past, they will get together because they’ve got a working class ethic about them and there’s a great unity there in the city.
“I think United gave the city a lift and I think that was what it was about. We’re all proud of them, it was a great achievement.”
While a number of sports have curtailed planned events in the wake of the Government’s decision to raise the national terror threat level to critical, organisers said Friday’s Great City Games will go ahead as planned.
The former Olympic long jump champion Greg Rutherford backed the decision to stage the event which will take place in a temporary arena in Albert Square, the scene of Tuesday’s emotional vigil for those who were killed and injured in the attack.
Rutherford said: “After such a tragic and heinous event, I think it’s important that everybody comes together and shows it’s not going to stop people leading a normal life.
“That seems to be the overriding sense from everybody here. I think it’s wonderful that it’s still going ahead and I hope it will be a lovely tribute to those who lost their lives and those injured in the attack.
“I think it will be amazing to see the people come out and get behind the event, not just for the sport but to show they’re not going to let the terrorists win.”
Meanwhile, the Great Manchester Run will also take place on Sunday. More than 35,000 are scheduled to take part, with organisers saying they had to turn away thousands of new applications this week.