Rick inspires Manchester United despite 'Pre-match nerves'
Former Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment soldier and life-long Manchester United fan Rick Clement has been inspiring his idols with his story of overcoming adversity.
In February Rick, who lost both his legs while serving in Afghanistan, was invited to the club’s training ground by manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to talk to the club’s first team players and coaching staff.
“Every year, the Manchester United Disabled Supporters Association holds a black-tie dinner, and a guest speaker from the club attends. Last year, that was Ole,” said the 40-year-old from Lancashire.
“During the Q&A, I took the opportunity to offer my services to speak to the team. I didn’t expect anything to come of it, but the club got in touch and invited me along.
Rick was treated to a guided tour and was able to watch the first team train before talking to the players and coaching stuff about his service, injury and life since.
“I joked with Ole beforehand that I had pre-match nerves! I spoke about the similarities between soldiers and footballers – the discipline and time spent away from home. I’ve noticed more footballers are speaking out about mental health, especially when their careers come to an end. After my talk, every player shook my hand. It was brilliant! I watched Ole play when I was growing up and I never imagined I’d be telling my story to him and my favourite football club. It was an amazing day.”
The club has since asked Rick to come back to speak with its youth teams.