Participants from Street League, the national charity which uses football to tackle youth unemployment, were given a once-in-a-lifetime experience when the FA Cup was brought to the charity’s Manchester Academy programme as part of the BBC’s FA Cup tour. 

The young people on the Academy were given the chance to take a ‘selfie’ with one of the most coveted trophies in the football world, and were interviewed by the BBC about their FA Cup memories. Watch the video here!

John, who joined Street League having been unemployed for nearly a year said: “Seeing the FA Cup and thinking of how many great footballers have lifted the trophy was just surreal. Not even professional footballers get to experience this so for us to have the chance to have our picture taken was an honour. When I was growing up, my whole family would sit in front of the TV watching the FA Cup. They would have loved to have experienced this.”

Stephen Hughes, Street League’s Manchester Operations Manager, said: “For the BBC to come and visit the Academy was a fantastic compliment to the work we do with the young people on our programme. There was a huge buzz amongst the group when we told them that the BBC were coming to film and that they would actually get to touch the FA Cup! I think it will be a moment that will stick with them for a very long time.”

Charles Runcie, Head of BBC Sport, English Regions, says: “The FA Cup has got to be one of the most famous trophies in world sport. It’s great we’re able to bring it to so many different places where there some inspiring footballing projects going on. To see the trophy up close and personal – it’s almost as good as scoring the winner at Wembley!”