This Sunday (24 May) became the biggest day of young Chelsea fan Rachel Key’s life as Barclays gave her the opportunity to present the Barclays Premier League trophy to her Chelsea heroes in front of over 40,000 fans and approximately one billion people on TV as part of its 'Spirit of the Game' initiative.
Chelsea legend and World Cup winner, Marcel Desailly, surprised her with the good news at her home in South West London this week. Rachel said: “I thought it was some kind of wind-up when Marcel Desailly turned up at my door with the Barclays Premier League trophy and said I was going to be giving it to the Chelsea team on the last day of the season – it’s just unbelievable.”
Rachel was given the opportunity having completed a course on the Barclays Premier League Works scheme set up by Barclays and the Premier League to help struggling young people get the right skills and confidence to be work ready. Growing up Rachel struggled with discipline before making a positive step to change her life by joining the Barclays Premier League Works scheme at Chelsea. Since joining the community initiative Rachel has thrived and has secured a job as a football coach with pre-school football academy, Little Kickers.
Rachel continued: “Things have really changed for me since joining the Barclays Premier League Works scheme and I’m grateful for all the opportunities it has given me and of course this is the icing on the cake - I’m a massive Chelsea fan and I can’t wait to hand the trophy over to the team on Sunday.”
Marcel said “I love meeting fans like Rachel. She is so passionate about Chelsea and to see the look on her face when she heard what she was going to do. I’m excited for her, and hope she can enjoy the lead up to the day and the big moment itself. It’s going to be a very special day for her.”
Nathan Homer, Head of Global Sponsorship at Barclays, said “Rachel really deserves her opportunity and it’s great that we are able to reward a genuine fan of the club. Football has an amazingly strong community around it and we will continue to use our sponsorship to celebrate and reward those who champion the true spirit of the game – we hope Rachel’s experience will motivate other young people too.”
Barclays are committed to helping the next generation of fans fall in love with football. Throughout the 2014/2015 season Barclays have been giving fans the chance to win tickets to their first match via the Barclays Spirit of the Game website, where they can now register to win tickets for next season. Barclays has also once again given away more than 8,000 tickets to local communities in partnership with Barclays Premier League clubs.