Tuktuk Day 122

Glory, Glory, Man United …as the song goes!

I saw a story this week that jut SCREAMED the Shirt Project. SCREAMED and SCREAMED again. Regular readers will know that I first got involved when I heard of Bjørn Heidenstrøm’s cycle ride from Oslo, Norway to South Africa. That “encouraged me” to cycle to the 92 clubs. Well, this week I have heard of Ochirvaani “Ochiroo” Batbold (AKA Wazza) from Mongolia (yes, the one near China) to Old Trafford.
Let’s follow his story…

In May 2023, Ochirvaani “Ochiroo” Batbold left his home country of Mongolia to embark on a 14,000km cycling journey to Manchester United‘s stadium, Old Trafford. 

He has supported the Red Devils since 2010 and his first memory is the match versus Liverpool in September 2010 – a game famous for Dimitar Berbatov‘s hat-trick in a 3-2 win.

Batbold wrote a letter to the club, explaining: “I’m currently cycling from my home in Mongolia to Old Trafford because I love Manchester United. Wayne Rooney has always been my hero. I loved his relentless work ethic, versatility and ability to rise to the occasion in crucial moments. He was always an inspiration.

“When I was younger all I ever wanted to do was to be a professional footballer and to play for Manchester United, however I experienced a difficult situation. I lost a significant amount of money after being deceived by someone posing as a football agent. I felt like I was living a nightmare.”

When the club saw the letter and read his story, they decided to organise a very special surprise involving United legend Rooney.

Batbold thought he had been invited to a tour of Old Trafford, but Rooney appeared from the concourse to meet him in person.

Rooney said: “I really wanted to come and meet you and just say well done! I know you might think that we inspire you, or we inspire the fans, but what you’ve done is an incredible achievement and you should be really proud of what you’ve done.” 

See the full video here

To make Batbold’s trip even more memorable, he was invited back to the stadium to watch Man Utd against Arsenal, where he had the opportunity to soak up the atmosphere from the directors’ box and meet Sir Alex Ferguson and club captain Bruno Fernandes.

So, to put that trip from Mongolia into perspective, that is about five times what I did. I am hugely impressed and inspired. Congratulations, hero. My little (nay, tiny) tuktuk digital tour pushes on and I still have Manchester City, Bristol City & Rovers and Birmingham in my sights but in the meantime, kindly remember that the purpose of this 90 day challenge is to raise funds for my local club, FC Deportivo Galicia and an equal amount for Prostate Cancer. As always, I hope that you are all enjoying the tour of the UK and that you will consider a donation to support FC Deportivo Galicia and/or Prostate Cancer UK 

If everybody chipped in with just £1 I would easily hit my target of £10,000 and life would be easier in West London whilst the charity could continue their great work. A HEARTFELT thanks, if you can.

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