Danny Wilson, Oleks Zinchenko, a Ukrainian boy and MCFC

Didsbury Dave

Well-Known Member
Joined
1 Feb 2007
Messages
34,603
Now the dust is settling I thought I'd share with you my tale of the way Manchester City have acted behind the scenes and changed a young and shattered life for the better.

We took a small Ukrainian family from the war in April of this year. A mother and her 13 year old son, Myla and Timur,they arrived at Manchester Airport traumatised and confused. They'd left their beds one early morning and fled, after hearing bombs, leaving their dad behind. On the way to the border the lady who'd joined them had a heart attack and passed her ten year old on to them, so she could find a hospital. The three of them ended up being picked up by a strange car at 3am, freezing cold, in the middle of nowhere, who thankfully turned out to be a volunteer who took them across the border. They ended up in Prague in a little hotel and that's where we found them and arranged their travel. Whilst my wife hassled the government and the MP they found out that their husband/father had been conscripted to a bunker in a school basement somewhere, despite never having held a gun in his life.

This was the state of play when they arrived. They spoke little English but Timur was football crazy and got very animated when I asked him about Oleks Zinchenko. I bought him a ticket for the Real Madrid home game the following week and we set about trying to build them a new life. The Real game was his first ever game and he was so excited (although he didn't even realise it was two legs until the car journey home!) He was up on his seat giving it "City! City!" like a proper blue.

After a few people suggested it, I emailed Danny Wilson to tell him about Timur. Danny's an old friend from years ago but I haven't seen him in a long time. He was straight on the phone and the next thing you know he organised four Tunnel Club tickets from me, Timur and my boys, for the Watford game. We went and had a wonderful time and then after the game Danny came over and whisked us downstairs to the dressing room area. Out came Oleks Zinchenko, had a long chat with Timur who was by now dying of excitement, and made several videos for him to send to his Dad, brother and friends. Oleks gave him his mobile number and asked him to stay in touch. I had a beer with Danny in the Tunnel Club after and he offered match tickets for Timur for any game and concert tickets for Myla for all of the concerts at the Etihad this summer.

Timur was now a massive blue, watching the games face to face or on the telly with me and my boys. Last week Danny Wilson, unprompted, got in touch with me again and sorted out Timur a ticket for the Villa game up with us. He even offered to give us all tickets but I'm a season ticket holder already, had bought tickets for my boys and didn't want to take the piss. Oh how excited Tumur was now, until Thursday of this week when his phone went and he was suddenly talking to Zinchenko again. He offered him a place in his family's box for the game. Wow. But this wasn't even the end of the story because as I was waiting for the bus meet, about 1.30pm on Sunday, and Timur and my boys were having a burger at City Square, Danny Wilson rang me again. It was only a quick walk to where he was at City@Home, and there he presented me with Olek's shirt, signed by the whole squad. Any of you with kids will know that a player's shirt is literally the holy grail these days. You should have seen Timur's face.

So we won the league, with Timur witnessing it wearing Oleks' shirt,with the Zinchenko (and Cancelo and De Bruyne) family. He got photos of himself with Zin's winner's medal. The head master of Timur's School in Ukraine (which is still running lessons!) held an assembly on Monday morning and showed the picture to the whole school (or what's left of them) who applauded wildly. Timur has talked of nothing else. He's built a little shrine to Manchester City in his bedroom. He walks around the house in a City scarf chanting "City!" at random

Danny Wilson and Oleks Zinchenko sought no publicity over this. They did it, to quote Danny, to "let him be a part of something special". They changed the life of a deeply distressed and depressed little boy and gave him happiness and hope when he needed it the most. What a credit they both are to MCFC, and how proud I am of the club I love.
 

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Alan Harper's Tash

Well-Known Member
Joined
12 Dec 2010
Messages
23,933
Not the dust is settling I thought I'd share with you my tale of the way Manchester City have acted behind the scenes and changed a young life for the better.

We took a small Ukrainian family from the war in April of this year. A mother and her 13 year old son, Myla and Timur,they arrived at Manchester Airport traumatised and confused. They'd left their beds one early morning and fled, after hearing bombs, leaving their dad behind. On the way to the border the lady who'd joined them had a heart attack and passed her ten year old on to them, so she could find a hospital. The three of them ended up being picked up by a strange car at 3am, freezing cold, in the middle of nowhere, who thankfully turned out to be a volunteer who took them across the border. They ended up in Prague in a little hotel and that's where we found them and arranged their travel. Whilst my wife hassled the government and the MP they found out that their husband/father had been conscripted to a bunker in a school basement somewhere, despite never having held a gun in his life.

This was the state of play when they arrived. They spoke little English but Timur was football crazy and got very animated when I asked him about Oleks Zinchenko. I bought him a ticket for the Real Madrid home game the following week and we set about trying to build them a new life. The Real game was his first ever game and he was so excited (although he didn't even realise it was two legs until the car journey home!) He was up on his seat giving it "City! City!" like a proper blue.

After a few people suggested it, I emailed Danny Wilson to tell him about Timur. Danny's an old friend from years ago but I haven't seen him in a long time. He was straight on the phone and the next thing you know he organised four Tunnel Club tickets from me, Timur and my boys, for the Watford game. We went and had a wonderful time and then after the game Danny came over and whisked us downstairs to the dressing room area. Out came Oleks Zinchenko, had a long chat with Timur who was by now dying of excitement, and made several videos for him to send to his Dad, brother and friends. Oleks gave him his mobile number and asked him to stay in touch. I had a beer with Danny in the Tunnel Club after and he offered match tickets for Timur for any game and concert tickets for Myla for all of the concerts at the Etihad this summer.

Timur was now a massive blue, watching the games face to face or on the telly with me and my boys. Last week Danny Wilson, unprompted, got in touch with me again and sorted out Timur a ticket for the Villa game up with us. He even offered to give us all tickets but I'm a season ticket holder already, had bought tickets for my boys and didn't want to take the piss. Oh how excited Tumur was now, until Thursday of this week when his phone went and he was suddenly talking to Zinchenko again. He offered him a place in his family's box for the game. Wow. But this wasn't even the end of the story because as I was waiting for the bus meet, about 1.30pm on Sunday, and Timur and my boys were having a burger at City Square, Danny Wilson rang me again. It was only a quick walk to where he was at City@Home, and there he presented me with Olek's shirt, signed by the whole squad. Any of you with kids will know that a player's shirt is literally the holy grail these days. You should have seen Timur's face.

So we won the league, with Timur witnessing it wearing Oleks' shirt,with the Zinchenko (and Cancelo and De Bruyne) family. He got photos of himself with Zin's winner's medal. The head master of Timur's School in Ukraine (which is still running lessons!) held an assembly on Monday morning and showed the picture to the whole school (or what's left of them) who applauded wildly. Timur has talked of nothing else. He's built a little shrine to Manchester City in his bedroom. He walks around the house in a City scarf chanting "City!" at random

Danny Wilson and Oleks Zinchenko sought no publicity over this. They did it, to quote Danny, to "let him be a part of something special". They changed the life of a deeply distressed and depressed little boy and gave him happiness and hope when he needed it the most. What a credit they both are to MCFC, and how proud I am of the club I love.
Wonderful story all round after the grim start in Ukraine.

Well done City, but most of all, well done Dave. You’ve made a huge difference to a family suffering horrendously.
 

cyan

Well-Known Member
Joined
26 Aug 2015
Messages
409
I think I saw him at Halftime with Mrs Zinchenko and baby taking pictures at the front of east level 2 - there was a boy in an 11 Zinchenko shirt looking slightly awkward. Although the main fun was watching the baby who was wriggling away in Mum's arms trying to se everything that was going on instead of posing nicely for the camera.

But great story and good work you are doing there - in lots of ways.
 

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