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Nelson Mandela Meets Manchester City Squad

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Nelson Mandela who turned 91 this week met the Manchester City Squad, who handed him a signed squad shirt and sang happy birthday to the civil rights leader. Mandela made a joke on the baby faced Robinho, whilst the meeting was in good humour the squad will never forget shaking hands with a true living legend.

Garry Cook, Mark Hughes and the Squad present shirt to Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela was arrested in 1962 and charged with sabotage and conspiring against the government. After spending 20 years in prison the anti-apartheid campaigner was elected South Africa’s first black president in 1994. The first black US president Barack Obama delivered a personal message via video to a concert held in Mandela’s honour for his Birthday on the 18th of July, which was the first ever Mandela Day. The US leader said that Mandela’s life “teaches us that the impossible can be done, but only if people have the courage to make change happen.”

The Manchester City squad met with Mandela at the Nelson Mandela’s Children’s fund in Houghton, Johannesburg on Thursday. The fund was established in the 1990s by the former president. The fund seeks to improve the living conditions and the way in which society treats its children in South Africa.

City manager Mark Hughes presented Mandela with a signed shirt with the number “91” on the back. Mark Hughes told the Manchester City Website, “It was a huge honour to meet Mr Mandela, and I know that all the lads were deeply touched that he took the time to meet us. He’s an inspirational figure and none of us that were lucky enough to meet him will forget today.”

Adebayor, Nelson Mandela and Robinho

Those sentiments were echoed by new Togolise striker Emmanual Adebayor who said that it was a profound honour to have met the man who more than any other symbolises his people's struggle for freedom in South Africa: "As an African man it is an honour [to meet Mr Mandela]. For me this is like a dream come true. He’s an icon for all Africans."

When Robinho met Nelson Mandela, the former president said “You are a baby! What are you doing here?" The 25-year-old, though, was profoundly moved by being given the opportunity to meet Mr Mandela, remarking, "It is a great honour to meet him. At 91 he’s still so fit and sharp. I hope that we’re so good at that age."

Baby Face Robbie shakes hands with Mandela

The squad gathered to sing Happy Birthday to Nelson Mandela, a video of which you can view below via the link.



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