A GROUP of 14 children from the slums of Mumbai are preparing for a football match with Beaudesert Park School.

The OSCAR Foundation’s under 14 team landed in the UK last Sunday and will take part in a lesson at the Minchinhampton school tomorrow before kicking off at 2.30pm.

Last week they headed down to London, where, among other things, they met Elaine Paige for a photoshoot before watching a performance of The Lion King in the West End.

On Thursday, Manchester United midfielder Juan Mata will take the group on a guided tour of Old Trafford, before they head back to Mumbai on Saturday afternoon.

The 29-year-old Spanish footballer had visited the players during the close season this summer as part of his role as Global Ambassador for streetfootballworld.

He spent two days in June in the Ambedkar Nagar community where he visited OSCAR, participating in various educational lessons, before showcasing his skills in the foundation’s Football3 Festival.

Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard:

Manchester United star Juan Mata visited OSCAR in June

Juan also met former Cirencester College student Max Cooke, who was volunteering at the charity, teaching the children English in preparation for their visit to the UK.

“The two days spent with OSCAR, seeing what you do for your community, has been an experience I will never forget,” said Juan.

“You are helping so many children; they are learning a lot and becoming better people.

“The warm welcome we got from them was priceless. It is my first time to India but I don’t think it’s going to be my last because I have really enjoyed it.”

Click the following link to see a video of Juan's time in Mumbai.


The OSCAR children's trip to the UK was made possible by sponsorship from a number of Gloucestershire businesses, including Steppes Travel in Cirencester, Jolly Nice farm shop, Knight Frank, Waitrose, Woodchester Valley Vineyard and Kodak Express in Stroud.