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Manchester United gives boy raised in brothel a tryout

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Roy 5

Forbes recently ranked Manchester United the world’s most valuable sports team, valued at $2.23 billion. The English soccer club has a rabid fan base that touches all corners of the world.

Including the infamous red-light district of the Sonagachi neighborhood in Kolkata, India. There lives Rajib Roy, a 16-year-old whose mother has been a sex worker since the age of 13. There lives Roy, who is bullied because of his mother’s profession. 

Roy Foot

But in an area teeming with the devil’s minions, the Red Devils have provided a lifeline, a reason for Roy to dream bigger than ever before. Roy will attend a 10-day training session with Manchester United, receive a tour of Old Trafford, known as the Theatre of Dreams, and train with the club’s academy team April 25.

“I never imagined I would get an opportunity this big,” Roy said in an interview with Barcroft TV. “I have worked hard to get here.

“I intend to keep working hard and hope to grow in the future.”

Kolkata is home to some of the world’s poorest people. In 2012, the Times of India published a story titled, “(Kolkata’s) poor are poorer than the rest.” And within Kolkata is the Sonagachi neighborhood, which is home to the red-light district that houses an estimated 12,000 sex workers. His mother Rehka Das, 40, started as a sex worker at 13.

Red Light

The streets of Sonagachi in Kolkata

“I have brought him up amidst difficulties,” she told Barcroft TV. “Now he is going abroad and this feels like I have reached the stars.

“He is my stick in darkness.”

For Roy, soccer is his equalizer, his way to distinguish himself. He loves to dribble, and he loves Brazil’s Oscar, who overcame childhood poverty and now stars for Chelsea.

“Football has brought me acceptance,” Roy said. “Those who did not know me or would not treat me as any other common boy, they are praising me now.”

He was first spotted when he helped his team win the National Slum Soccer Tournament in Nagpur earlier this year.

Roy knows what he wants to do as soon as he gets to England.

First see the stadium,” he said. “Then shake hands with (Wayne) Rooney.”

Check out this video below of Roy’s story:

Source: Barcroft TV

Photo Credit: Mirror, Lightstalkers

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Sean Jensen

Sports reporting demanded I cover at least 15 Super Bowls (lost count), 2 Olympics and too many close Minnesota Vikings losses to count. Also required me to play Augusta National once. But my close friends are more jealous of my eating records (among them 125 chicken wings and 24 donuts). My priorities: Faith, Family and... oh, I've forgotten the third F.


  1. James chege

    April 19, 2014 at 12:50 am

    This one of the best thing to hear from my favourite team.I have been on the poverty side so i know how it feels like to see your dreams coming.Im happy,happy for the support of this poor child,may he grow to be a legend.

  2. vineet

    April 20, 2014 at 1:21 pm

    no words!
    just salute to his mom and my club!!!
    GGMU! (y)

  3. Ratul

    April 20, 2014 at 9:32 pm

    Go on bro , we are with you and your dreams !!!

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