Close this search box.

Over 800 Manchester City fans paint Etihad blue for charity

Every penny raised will go towards a mental health programme for young people across Greater Manchester

Over 800 Manchester City fans took to the Etihad Campus on Saturday to show their support for the Club’s official charity.

City in the Community (CITC) fundraisers completed the 2022 Blue Run – a 2.5km or 5km route around the Etihad stadium and City Football Academy, all whilst being covered in blue paint.

Tens of thousands of pounds have been raised, with every penny going towards CITC’s mental health programme, City Thrive, which is delivered in partnership with the NHS. 

Photo: Lynne Cameron

City Thrive harnesses the power of football to help provide support for thousands of people aged up to 25.

A dedicated team has developed a mental health curriculum, blending specially adapted football sessions with one-to-one mentoring and group workshops on mental health awareness, to improve mental wellbeing. 

Additionally, specific mental health themed football sessions are delivered from youth clubs across Manchester, enabling participants to enjoy physical activity whilst also accessing the benefits of one-to-one mentoring and group workshops.

Former Manchester City player and current CITC Trustee, Nedum Onuoha, signalled the start of the run.

Photo: Lynne Cameron

“It’s been incredible to see so many supporters taking part in the Blue Run today; the energy has been electric, and everyone has done an incredible job fundraising for City in the Community,” he said.

“This is the first time we’ve been able to host the event since 2019, and in that time everyone’s lives have changed.

“I’ve been so impressed with how the Club’s charity has responded to the COVID-19 pandemic, specifically in support of people’s mental health, and today is going to help ensure that work can continue. 

“On behalf of everyone from CITC, I’d like to thank all runners for their support.” 

Established in 1986, City in the Community (CITC) has been using football to create opportunities, build futures, and touch lives in a unique way ever since.

Using football as a magnet to engage young people, Manchester City’s official Foundation delivers a range of award-winning programs, focusing on three main areas: Health, Education, and Inclusion.

CITC programmes currently engage with up to 30,000 local people each season.

Photo: Lynne Cameron

Five-year-old Sonny from Didsbury was one of hundreds taking part in the Blue Run on Saturday, raising over £1,000.  

“I wanted to run today because I love City and I really wanted to help the charity,” he said.

“I’ve had loads of fun and really enjoyed being at the stadium covered in paint. Thank you to everyone for your donations!”

Stewart Jones, from Bolton, took part in the event with his National Highways team. 

“It’s great fun today!” he said form the finishing line .

“We do lots of work in Manchester, so we wanted to put something back into the community and this is brilliant charity to get involved with.

“We’re big on mental health, and we know how supportive City in the Community are in that area, so are thrilled to be involved. It’s just fantastic!” 

Hundreds of Manchester City fans from across the world also took part in Blue Runs from home. 


Manchester is a successful city, but there are many people that suffer. The I Love MCR Foundation helps raise vital funds to help improve the lives and prospects of people and communities across Greater Manchester – and we can’t do it without your help. So please donate or fundraise what you can because investing in your local community to help it thrive can be a massively rewarding experience. Thank you in advance!

Got a story worth sharing?

What’s the story? We are all ears when it comes to positive news and inspiring stories. You can send story ideas to [email protected]

Get the Newsletter
Timeless Reads
Latest News
Upcoming Events