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Vincent Kompany is ready to get back to tackling homelessness in Manchester

Four years ago Manchester City legend Kompany donated the proceeds of his testimonial to boost Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham’s bid to end rough sleeping. This week the pair met up back where it all began and The Big Issue was with them

Vincent Kompany and Andy Burnham visit homelessness charity in Manchester

Andy Burnham and Vincent Kompany met Supporting People in Need's chair of trustees John Herstell to hear more about the legacy Kompany's testimonial cash has had on homelessness in Manchester. Image: Sharon Dobson / Burnley FC

Burnley FC manager Vincent Kompany has said he is ready to get back to tackling homelessness in Manchester.

The Manchester City legend joined city Mayor Andy Burnham on a visit to homelessness charity Supporting People in Need (Spin on Tuesday to see first-hand the legacy of his Tackle4Mcr campaign in 2019.

That was when Kompany donated the proceeds from his Manchester City testimonial to Burnham’s A Bed Every Night scheme, set up to deliver the mayor’s promise of ending rough sleeping in the city.

The scheme has now grown to provide single-room emergency accommodation for 572 people across Greater Manchester’s 10 boroughs.

As the cost of living crisis means more people are at risk of falling into street homelessness, Kompany told The Big Issue he is hoping to pick up where he left off.

Vincent Kompany and Andy Burnham visit homelessness charity in Manchester
Burnham and Kompany went head-to-head on the homelessness charity’s table football game. Kompany was clear on who was better. “There can be only one,” he later told The Big Issue. Image: Sharon Dobson / Burnley FC

“To see the state of play after we left it four years ago and see how it’s progressed and the impact A Bed Every Night’s had on lives in general proves that if you associate yourself with the right people then the money you spend, the time that you spend will be put to good use,” Kompany told The Big Issue.

“I’m looking forward to see where I can do more. I have lived for a long time in Manchester now and I’d like to think that every Manc, rich or poor, will not accept that there is someone who has to sleep outside on the street. I don’t feel we can accept this. Life is tough but I don’t think any of us should accept it and I think we’re big and strong enough to do something about it.”

The visit came four years almost to the day since Kompany and Burnham met for the first time at Spin.

Kompany was at the end of his playing career with Manchester City at the time. He had just scored his famous rocket of a final goal against Leicester City and was due to travel to Brighton for a Premier League title decider with Liverpool when he visited the charity.

The partnership the pair formed that day led to Tackle4Mcr, a charity set up to provide funds for the A Bed Every Night scheme.

Spin used those funds during Covid to transform their facilities from dormitories to space to house 20 people experiencing homelessness in single rooms. The charity also provides tenancies alongside support to save people from the streets.

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Spin supports people who cannot work or access state support as their immigration status means they have no recourse to public funds.

That government policy, alongside the cost of living crisis, is one of the reasons why Burnham insists he cannot prevent rough sleeping but he is grateful to Kompany for his contribution to ensure there is a swift response. 

Vincent Kompany and Andy Burnham visit homelessness charity in Manchester
Kompany left City shortly after his 2019 testimonial to return to Belgium. He returned to English football last year, returning Burnley to the Premier League at the first attempt. Image: Sharon Dobson / Burnley FC

“I remember saying to Vincent, ‘I can’t believe you’re here, you’ve got to go to Brighton in a few hours to try and win the league and yet here you are at Supporting People in Need in Ardwick. That really tells you everything you need to know about Vincent Kompany,” said Burnham.

“It says that he’s the kind of person who sticks by things, sees things through. We can’t see that in the way his values come through as a player and now as a manager but more in life. He was just an amazing person to work with for the year and everything he committed to he did, he followed through.

“The fact he is back today at his request tells you everything you need to know about the kind of man he is. He’s clearly got this city in his blood. Obviously he’s doing well at Burnley at the moment but he is still very committed to Manchester.”

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The gratitude to Kompany is even etched into Spin’s Ardwick base with a painting of the Belgian’s Leicester goal on the wall just yards from where the people who the charity support live.

The legacy of his gesture has not been forgotten in Manchester. 

“Without A Bed Every Night we wouldn’t be here,” John Herstell, Supporting People in Need’s chair of trustees, told Kompany.

“I’ve never watched so many Burnley games. I say now: if Vinny’s there I’ll support them.”

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