- Anthony Chapman
Man City Sticker Project 2022 in aid of Manchester City Foodbank Support
MCFC Fans Foodbank Support is now in its third year. The return to games for fans across the country meant that the group’s members were able to return to collect for Manchester’s nineteen foodbanks on matchdays. Their work is invaluable as ever; following the Chancellor’s Spring Statement, Emma Revie, chief executive of the Trussell Trust – a charity dedicated to ending the need for foodbanks - said the government’s proposals have ‘failed to create any security for people on the lowest incomes’, and the ‘decision will mean many more people who have no option but to use a foodbank’.
Foodbank usage is already overwhelming. From April 1 to 30 September 2021, the Trussell Trust distributed 5,100 emergency food parcels a day across the United Kingdom. The North West is consistently amongst the highest regions in need – with 108,778 food parcels distributed across this period to those in need in the area.
These conditions mean that the work done by groups such as MCFC Fans Foodbank Support is more important than ever. In addition to braving the changeable weather outside the stadium on matchdays, the MCFC Fans Foodbank Support are involved in a number of fundraising activities in tandem with a number of other supporters’ groups, most prominently MUFC Fans’ Foodbank. Recently, the group helped to raise £1,000 alongside food donations at a fundraiser hosted by Unite – the country’s largest trade union - attended by fans of Liverpool, Everton and West Ham who help with their club’s own fan-organised foodbanks. Last week, City stars Aymeric Laporte and Ilkay Gündogan have placed a friendly bet: the player whose country finishes higher between Spain and Germany in this winter’s World Cup Group E wins the bet, while the ‘loser’ will donate funds for 1,000 meals to foodbanks in Manchester.
Moreover, this year has seen the second Sticker Project following last year’s success. Organised once again by Shaun Campbell, this year’s contributions are as impressive as last year’s. On his decision to bring back the album, Shaun writes:
"I’d originally had no plans to bring the project back, and I hadn’t considered the idea of it being a regular occurrence. Sadly, even now a year on from the first edition, there is still very much a dependence on foodbanks. Fans returning to football matches in England also marked the return of collections by MCFC Fans Foodbank Support. They were doing their part and I thought I should at least try to see if I could help.
I was sceptical that it would garner the required response of around 50 people, but the album filled out very quickly. I was left with an abundance of willing participants with no player to design for! So, I made my own call up to the U21’s sides and added as many of them to the project as possible, extending this year’s batch to 60 unique entrants. This year’s album is made up of a combination of returning artists and new faces I had never seen before, and I hope people enjoy and appreciate their work as much as I have as the project progressed.
I am absolutely ecstatic we managed to do this again and raise more money for MCFC Fans Foodbank Support. I am just happy to be able to help out organizing something within my niche. I am so grateful people from all over the world will lend their time and talents to help out the most vulnerable in our local community.
I am truly inspired by my friends and how far they have come in such a short amount of time. Their efforts are invaluable to local communities, and their message/purpose beyond that: they offer a shining light in an increasingly bleak world of modern football and its reflections upon wider society.
If you want to make a difference in your local community, take their lead, believe in yourself, and a cause worth fighting for and go for it. It is absolutely possible."
Each of the sixty stickers offers a unique artistic interpretation of players on City’s men’s and women’s teams. With contributions from across the globe, including Australia, the United States, Spain, Mexico, Brazil, Jordan, Ghana, and the Philippines– the album is the result of a truly global creative effort.
In the women’s team, we find a surreal Caroline Weir by James Dillon and Jamie Clarkson’s levitating Lucy Bronze. Some of the highlights in the men’s team include Rome Edward’s playing card Jack Grealish, and Eoin Brady’s representation of Oleksandr Zinchenko, lightning-struck by his nation’s coat of arms.
To enter the album, the artists were asked to donate a small amount each, with their contributions totalling £550 to a fundraiser which has now accumulated more than £58,500 for the nineteen Trussell Trust foodbanks in Greater Manchester. It is estimated that £5 can feed an individual for a week, and £20 can feed a family for a week. Showing even the smallest donation could help someone in need.
On the return of MCFC Fans Foodbank Support collections and the group’s progress, Founding Member Alex Timperley says:
"The last year has been incredible for us at MCFC FFS. It has been such a pleasure coming back for our first full season following the pandemic and all the disruption it brought. We were determined to do more than ever, and City fans responded brilliantly, donating almost two tonnes of food already this season. Without the help of City fans, the foodbank would not have been able to meet the winter demand and people would have starved. When you consider that 40% of their food parcels go to feed children, it is clear how important the contribution of City fans is, and how much impact it has on people's lives from day to day. Everything matters.
Alongside that, we've had support from major unions and we've worked closely with other community groups including GM Tenants Union and GM Law Centre, all of whom have shown solidarity with City fans and our communities.
As the cost of living rises and poverty becomes a reality for more and more people, every contribution matters.
Thank you from us to everyone involved with the Sticker Project, and to all who have enjoyed it. It makes a huge difference and gives us hope."
The group will continue to collect donations on weekends for home matchdays as the season races to its thrilling denouement. To find your local foodbank, use the Trussell Trust’s search tool found here. Individual foodbank websites often display the products they have plenty of, and products they need. In addition to this, superstores such as Morrisons around the Greater Manchester area now sell made-up food parcels for customers to add to the cost of their shop before being donated to the local foodbank.
Invoking the motto that ‘Hunger Does Not Wear Colours’, the work done by MCFC Fans Foodbank Support and similar groups across the country is testament to the power we hold as football fans and the power of our connections with other fans across the country. This project shows this power is global in its capacity to change people’s lives. The money and food donations accumulated by football fan groups across the country, facilitated by the invaluable hard work done by those involved, have already saved lives – and will continue to do so.
To learn more about the groups, follow @MCFCfoodbank, who tweet food suggestions before every match; @mufcfoodbank and @SFoodbanks and @right2fooduk on Twitter. You can offer financial help here, or donate on matchdays, next to the CFA bridge on Sir Howard Bernstein Way opposite Asda.
Written by @anthonychapman_