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“We need a respectful, mutual listening, free of ideology and predetermined agendas.” Pope Francis, Let us Dream, December 2020

Chaplain for Sport praises Man City star’s pledge to tackle rough sleeping

Mgr Vladimir Felzmann, the Westminster Diocesan Chaplain for Sport, has praised Manchester City star Vincent Kompany after he announced he will donate proceeds from his testimonial season to tackle rough sleeping in Manchester.

The Belgian international has teamed up with Andy Burnham, the mayor of Greater Manchester, to launch fundraising campaign Tackle4MCR. Mr Burnham has pledged to end the need for rough sleeping in the city region by 2020 and on his first day in office he set up the Mayor’s Homelessness Fund, and donates 15 per cent of his salary every month.

“Congratulations to Vincent Kompany, this is a great initiative,” Mgr Felzmann, the CEO for the John Paul II Foundation for Sport (JP2F4S), told The Catholic Universe. “Sport and people like Vincent can inspire people to realise their potential in helping the marginalised get back on their feet.”

Mgr Felzmann is also a Trustee of The Passage, which runs London’s largest voluntary sector resource centre for homeless and vulnerable people, and has already seen the value of using sport to support vulnerable people.

“Thanks to my two hats, as Trustee of The Passage to ending homelessness and JP2F4S CEO, I have put The Passage in touch with QPR,” he explained.

“Just Google ‘The Passage to ending homelessness’ to get the picture. Together they will be an inspiration to other football clubs in London in helping homeless people.”

Speaking at Tackle4MCR’s launch night, Kompany said: “I’ve received much from Manchester – a great career at the highest level, unconditional support from the fans…a lovely family and so much more to be grateful for.

“I’ve been lucky to have played a part in Manchester City’s rise as a club and a brand, which has run parallel with the rise of a whole region.

“However, with this spectacular rise comes a very visible downside. More and more people are left out of and have no access to the benefits of the rapid development, often leaving them no choice but to end up on the streets.

“And this is why our mayor Andy Burnham and I have launched Tackle4MCR, a movement that will stand on its own feet and one that can be successful, if everyone plays a part.”

Fundraising will culminate in Kompany’s testimonial gala match at the end of the season.

This weekend’s Premier League fixtures:

Saturday 6th October

Burnley v Huddersfield Town – 3:00pm
Crystal Palace v Wolverhampton Wanderers – 3:00pm
Leicester City v Everton – 3:00pm
Tottenham Hotspur v Cardiff City – 3:00pm
Watford v AFC Bournemouth – 3:00pm
Manchester United v Newcastle United – 5:30pm

Sunday 7th October

Fulham v Arsenal – 12:00pm
Southampton v Chelsea – 2:15pm
Liverpool v Manchester City – 4:30pm

Picture: Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham with Man City star Vincent Kompany.