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Manchester United chief inspired by Elton John

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Manchester United chief inspired by Elton John

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Published by Jon Land for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Communities, Education

Manchester United chief inspired by Elton John Manchester United chief inspired by Elton John

The Chief Operating Officer of Manchester United, has revealed how Elton John inspired him to pursue a career in the entertainment industry.

Michael Bolingbroke spoke of the life changing moment during a visit to the New Charter Academy in Ashton-under-Lyne, where he hosted a Q&A session with students and give a speech about business as part of the school’s partnership with the Manchester United Foundation.

Mr Bolingbroke met GCSE and A-Level pupils who are studying leadership, business and enterprise and gave a speech about his role at Manchester United, getting started in business and the secrets of his success.

He divulged: “When I was 17 I had no idea what I wanted to do. I was good at maths so went to university and trained to be an accountant, but I wasn’t that inspired. Then one night I went to an Elton John concert and just before Elton came on stage I remember watching energy travel through the audience and I realised at that point, ‘That’s what I want to do; I want to be involved in exciting people and doing things that create energy.’

“Today I love being in a job where the aim is to entertain people. There are 80,000 people at Old Trafford on a match day; I’m glad that I play a part in them leaving with the feeling that they have had a good afternoon.”

Following the Q&A session Mr Bolingbroke spent time with a group of students from a leadership course within the Academy to have a more in-depth discussion about leadership.

He explained: “Everything you do and want to do boils down to three things: your ability, the effort you put in, and the luck you have. Ability is something you are born with; you either have it or you don’t. You can train to make it better but it’s what you’re born with. Luck: if you’re lucky, you’re lucky; if you’re not, you’re not. But effort is all about you. The more effort you put in, the better you will be. You cannot really change your ability, you cannot really change your luck; but effort is down to you.”

Whilst at the Academy, Mr Bolingbroke also took a tour of the new £42m building, which opened its doors in September 2011 under sponsorship from Tameside-based housing association New Charter Housing Trust.

Stephen Ball, New Charter Academy’s Principal said: “The partnership with the Manchester United Foundation is giving our students exciting opportunities to meet and work with some of the big names in sport. Michael’s visit will inspire our young people to get involved in more projects and think about sport and leadership as a possible career.”

Claire Mulvenna, Foundation Community Development who is based at New Charter, added, “The visit has been a great chance for the students to see that the partnership with Manchester United Foundation is not just about football and to get an insight into behind the scenes at one of the biggest clubs in the world.”

Head boy, 16 year-old Jonny Mpoyi commented, “It was inspiring to hear some of the things Michael said today, because right now I don’t have a clue what I want to do when I’m older, so when you hear someone as successful as him saying he felt the same it does inspire you to know there is still time to achieve things in the future.”

The three-year partnership between New Charter Academy and the Manchester United Foundation is through the Hub of the Community programme which focuses on helping young people to develop major life skills such as leadership, team work and positive behaviour. Through sport, it also hopes to promote business and enterprise opportunities to get teenagers thinking about different career paths.

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