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Reading Football Club's U18 squad overwhelmed by US generosity

Wed 21st Apr 2010 | Club & Country Competitions

After becoming stranded in the US due to the volcanic ash from Iceland, Reading's first year scholars staff have been absolutely overwhelmed by the incredible generosity that has come their way after taking part in an international tournament hosted by one of their partner clubs Charlotte United,

The club's 20-man party was due to fly back earlier this week, but they are likely to remain in North Carolina until May 3rd; the next available date when they can fly back together as a group.

Academy Manager Eamonn Dolan, Community Trust Manager Lee Herron and first team striker Noel Hunt are all with the squad, and the locals' never-ending generosity has left everybody incredibly humbled and taken aback.

The team are being housed in a six-star hotel free of charge, they have been invited to the Charlotte Bobcats' NBA play-off game, the Quail Hollow PGA Championship in which Tiger Woods is participating, and they have been inundated by media keen to get this story across to the local community.

In addition, Charlotte have allowed us continued use of their training facilities and have also arranged a game on our behalf this coming Thursday.

TV station WCNC have a special video report online and it is available to watch free here. Their newspaper the Charlotte Observer also ran a story outlining the events and it can be read here.

Dolan was very keen to publically thank Charlotte, their manager Neil Orridge and all concerned, and he wrote to their local partners, parents and media, 'On behalf of the Reading FC Academy I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Charlotte community.

'As you may be aware we had a very successful week in Charlotte and loved our time in your beautiful state. Unfortunately like many others we have become victims of the Icelandic volcano and stranded in Charlotte. At first we were very unsure and worried due to the uniqueness of the situation.

'We felt vulnerable, but little did we know about the Charlotte community. Whatever human spirit is all about, the good people of Charlotte have shown it to us over the last few days. Every now and then things happen for a reason. We will never forget the outpouring of kindness that you have shown us. We are relative strangers to you all, yet still the love in your hearts has shone through brighter than the sunshine in your state.

'We are overwhelmed and humbled, truly, by your humanity. We have been inundated with offers of help. Thank you. There are so many problems in the world and we hear relentlessly about human acts of malevolence to each other. What you don't hear about is people joining together for no other reason than compassion for fellow man. Charlotte you are wonderful! Charlotte we love you!

'My old manager at West Ham John Lyall, who has sadly passed away, used to say, 'it's nice to be important, but it's more important to be nice."

'Charlotte you are so very nice. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.'

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