Micah Richards has established himself as one of the finest defenders in Europe since making his debut in 2005 at the age of 17.
Predominantly as a right-back, Micah helped Manchester City win their first league title in 44 years – a season that also saw him nominated club’s Etihad Player of the Year award – as well securing the FA Cup trophy in 2011 and qualification for the Champions League for the first time in their history.
Other notable achievements to date include Micah becoming the youngest-ever defender to play for England, being picked as vice-captain for City, being named the club’s Young Player of the Year (2006), finishing runner-up for the Football Assocation’s Player of the Year Award (2007) and representing Team GB in the London 2012 Olympics. He also gained experience of playing overseas during a loan spell at Fiorentina in Serie A, and most recently was named captain of Aston Villa when he signed for the club. Whilst injuries meant he had to relinquish the captain’s armband, he remains a key part of Steve Bruce’s Villa side.
Alongside Micah’s work with Manchester City and England, he is proud to be ambassador for the following charities…
If U Care Share was founded by teenagers Sarah O’Hare and Matthew and Ben Smith following the suicide of their relative Daniel O’Hare in 2005 at the age of 19. The founders, supported by Daniel’s parents Shirley and Dean Smith, aimed to encourage young people to open up about their problems to avoid such tragedies in the future.
In 2011 there were 6,045 suicides in Britain, an increase of 437 on the previous year, and research shows that young people often suppress any problems they face rather than seeking help. Shirley and Dean are invited into football and sports clubs to discuss what support network is in place for young people, and they have won several awards for their work.
In 2005, Micah lost a childhood friend, Daniel Nelson, to suicide and he was delighted to become Ambassador for the charity in 2009 after reading about their incredible work.
His support to date has included wearing an If U Care Share wristband during matches and supporting their fundraising efforts.
Alive & Kicking is a UK based social enterprise that has set up football stitching factories in Kenya, Zambia and Ghana. The factories have created over 120 jobs in areas of high unemployment and have stitched over 400,000 balls, a quarter of which have been donated to children who otherwise would be playing with homemade alternatives.
Micah was named an official ambassador for the enterprise in 2012 after previously supporting several of their campaigns. As part of his support dso far, Micah fronted Alive & Kicking’s Christmas appeal which saw a special-edition ‘Balls for Africa’ gift being sold in John Lewis to raise money for the charity.