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29th May 2017

Ed Woodward’s act of kindness in wake of Manchester attack deserves to be known

Well played Ed Woodward

Evan Fanning

Ed Woodward is a divisive figure among Manchester United fans.

In fact he’s probably not all that divisive – United fans are probably unanimous in their agreement that their executive vice chairman has some pretty obvious failings.

But whatever his shortcomings in the transfer market or in the recruitment of managers, these things are just his job.

They don’t define him.

And a much truer picture of what Woodward is like was evident by a really classy gesture in the aftermath of United’s Europa League triumph last week.

In his column in Monday’s Daily Star, journalist Jeremy Cross details how his 11-year-old  daughter was caught up in the devastating terrorist attack in Manchester last week.

Cross’ professional duty meant he had to travel to Stockholm to cover Manchester United’s Europa League final against Ajax on Wednesday, leaving his traumatised daughter at home.

We can only imagine how hard it was to make that journey, and how eager Cross would have been to get home to his family.

And that’s where father-of-two Woodward stepped in. He offered Cross a place on the team flight home immediately after the match so that he didn’t have to wait until the following day for his scheduled flight.

Woodward also offered to pay for a counsellor for Cross’ daughter.

It’s easy to be cynical, especially in football, and let what Mark Chapman last week described as the pantomime rivalries take over, but acts like this deserve acknowledgement.

Well done Ed Woodward.

You can read Cross’ column in full here.