One Pack Week | Taye’s “one of our own”

One Pack Week | Taye’s “one of our own” Image

The phrase, ‘He’s one of our own’, has fast become a regular feature of the footballing fan songbook, usually in reference to a player who has developed through a club’s Academy.

Well, now at Wolves Foundation, there is someone who truly is ‘One of Our Own’, because he has won that particular award, and also because Head Coach Julen Lopetegui says so!

Taye, aged 14, who attends St Peter’s Collegiate Academy, received the ‘One of Our Own’ award as part of the Premier League Supports campaign, highlighting people across the country who have made exceptional contributions to club charities.

And it was handed over by none other than Lopetegui, who visited one of the Foundation’s Premier League Kicks sessions at All Saints Community Network, to spring the surprise.

“Taye is someone who has been with us for four or five years now and he was at risk of getting involved in different things and was a vulnerable young person,” said Luke Shearing, Wolves Foundation’s Inclusion & Cohesion Manager.

“He has come such a long way and is such a positive young man now from where he was – that is ultimately what the Premier League Kicks programme is all about, people like Taye and how they can develop.

“It was great to see Julen give him that award and to see the smile on his face – another big part of his journey.”

Taye first engaged with Wolves Foundation via the PL Kicks project and also Premier League Inspires, having struggled with his behaviour management whilst at school.

Always a bubbly and outgoing presence, he was quickly able to channel his behaviour into something positive, and became a member of the Action Park group leading positive work in the community and also the matchday ball crew at Wolves’ home matches.

It is with that positive attitude and willingness to step forward that he was earmarked for the ‘One of Our Own’ award, receiving a commemorative frame and scarf to mark the achievement.

‘Being involved in PL Kicks has been brilliant for me,” says Taye.

“I am really grateful for the opportunities that it has brought going on to the Social Action group and that being part of the ball crew.

“Without this, I think I would probably be very bored and feeling anti-social, not getting out and about to do the activities and meeting people. 

“Working with the Foundation has really helped me meet so many new people and build my confidence and self-esteem.

“It was so exciting to get the award.  I feel privileged to be able to meet people like that, a manager from a team in the Premier League.

“Even just being part of the ball crew on a matchday and getting to watch Wolves games is something I see as a one-in-a-million opportunity.”

Having received the award in the week leading up to the Foundation’s Annual Focus Fixture against Chelsea, Taye then joined Foundation ambassador Jacqui Oatley in touring the corporate lounges in the Billy Wright Stand before the game to tell his story.

It was all part of the Premier League Supports week of action, highlighting the impact of the investment the Premier League has made in supporting wider football and communities, support which is distributed from grass roots to the professional set-up across so many levels of the game.

"Of course it’s so important to give back to the community and Wolverhampton as a whole. It's great to be here and to show our support."

Maximilian Kilman | Wolves Captain and Foundation Ambassador

"As a lifelong Wolves fan, to represent the Club and Foundation is something I'll cherish forever."

Daz James | Wolves Disability FC

"Without Wolves Foundation I wouldn't be here today, that's for certain."

John Martin | Head 4 Health participant

"It is amazing to be out there meeting people and having some fun. It is really important for Wolves to have this connection with the fans and to see the happiness in their faces."

Toti Gomes | Wolves Defender

"Savannah absolutely loves the group. The staff are committed to making every single session fun and welcoming."

Natasha | Healthy Goals parent

"It’s special because it's my club and I’m so proud to be from Wolves as well. I can see the projects and all the work Wolves Foundation are doing and I know it makes such an impact, so to even be a little part of that and to help out where I can – it's so exciting."

Amber Sandhu | Broadcaster and Foundation Ambassador

"It’s huge for the school, I can’t speak highly enough of Wolves Foundation and the opportunities that they give us."

Mr Robinson | Woodsetton School

“I think all football clubs should be the beating heart of their communities and Wolves, through the Foundation, manages to do that."

Johnny Phillips | Sky Sports Presenter and Foundation Ambassador

"We get loads of different opportunities with a Premier League club. I feel really privileged to be a part of it."

Mustafa | Football & Education College Academy student

"Frank has Alzheimer’s Disease and when he was first diagnosed we felt lost and alone. Attending Molineux Memories is a lifeline for both of us; it is run by friendly, committed staff who ensure that everyone is included and enjoys themselves."

Frank and Alison | Molineux Memories

"To come here and be hands on with the kids is unreal. Working with Wolves and the Foundation is a blessing and I'm honoured. It feels surreal sometimes but it's the best feeling."

S-X | Music Producer and Foundation Ambassador

"It's good to give back what you got. Football and the Wolves Foundation help me, so I like to help the community."

Taye | Premier League Kicks

"Wolves is a fantastic football club, and they’re excelling off the pitch as well with all the brilliant community work that the Foundation does. The passion of the coaches and the opportunities to play are amazing."

Jack Rutter | Former Great Britain Paralympian and Foundation Ambassador

"Wolves has definitely helped my personal development, but now also helps me to develop people I work with. I wouldn’t be where I am today without the opportunities Wolves Foundation have given me."

Carl Ackasovs | Wolves Foundation

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