Skip to content

Manchester Foundation
Trust Charity

Manchester United star donates special gowns for surgery

Andre Onana poses with Royal Manchester Children's Hospital CEO and staff along with new gowns he donated
Thursday 23rd May 2024

Manchester United goalkeeper André Onana visited Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital earlier this month to meet United fans and donate special hospital gowns for patients to wear for surgery.

André visited the Teen Zone on Ward 77 to present United fans with gift boxes featuring specially-designed Manchester United shirts that have been modified into medical-grade gowns. The gowns, a mixture of green goalkeeper and red home shirts, feature popper fastenings around the seams to make them easier to put on and take off and also accommodate for medical apparatus like cannulas.

Fans in attendance were delighted to meet André, with many making their own artworks to give to the United goalkeeper who happily signed them alongside shirts, goalkeeper gloves and gowns for the children.

After meetings fans in the Teen Zone, André headed over to the Walk In Walk Out (WIWO) Theatres Department to meet with families for which the gowns will make a difference. One such WIWO regular was nine-year-old Sophia Irvine, who along with her parents Lauren and Dale are massive United fans.

Diagnosed with papillomas in her airway, Sophia had a life-saving tracheostomy at Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital. She has routine operations on her airway and needs 24/7 care, regular nebulizers and tube change and cleaning. She also carries her tracheostomy case, suction machine and nebulizer machine everywhere she goes.

For children like Sophia, going into theatres for surgery can be a frightening experience, and a special gown can provide a little distraction and excitement, especially when you are a big Manchester United fan. Sophia modelled her new gown alongside Andre and WIWO staff member Joanne Leigh, with Premier League Productions on hand to capture her walk to theatres.

Angela Rowe, our Deputy Director, said:

“It was a pleasure to have André visit Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital and we’re very grateful to him for his donation of gowns. The gowns make a big difference to children going into theatre for surgery and help towards taking their mind of what can be a scary experience. Our young people absolutely loved spending time with André – it is such a great memory for them and their families to have of their time at Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital.”

Photo Credit - The Overlap/Howard Harrison

Stay in the loop

Let’s keep in touch! Sign up here to receive the latest news about charity events and projects, and how you can help, straight to your inbox.