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Monday March 23, 2009Micah's Roots Keep Him Grounded

By William Wood | In Charity

Micah has spoken to Players’ Club magazine, the official publication from the Professional Footballers Association, about the role his father played in his development and a forthcoming charitable trip to Ethiopia.

The 20-year old has often cited his father, Lincoln, as one of his idols, expressing his gratitude for the commitment he showed to his football career.

That included numerous trips from Leeds, where he, Micah and the rest of the Richards family lived, to Manchester for matches and training with Manchester City, and all the associated commitments that requires.

The collaborative efforts certainly paid off, with Micah going on to become the youngest ever defender to play for England and already making over 100 appearances for the Eastlanders.

Lincoln manages Micah’s off-the-field affairs along with his sister Rhonda, evidence for the way in which he retains close ties with his roots, and the defender is now in a position to begin to repay his family for their ongoing support.

“I always like to keep my family involved,” he said. “It’s been a good ride for me so far, and it’s nice to have them involved as well. Any time I can bring them in on anything I’m doing I will do and it’s a good experience for all of us.”

“My dad has been influential in my career. It was his birthday in January and I bought him an Audi Q7, so he was delighted!”

“We’ve come a long way from the days when two or three times a week he’d take me to training in Manchester all the way from Leeds, so it’s good when you can give something back. He put a lot of hard work in at the start of my career and it’s nice that he can be reaping the rewards now.”

Micah’s time extends beyond his family and to several charity projects, and one such initiative – Creative Cooperation – sees football equipments and kits donated to children in Ethiopia to encourage them to partake in the sport.

In supporting the charity, Micah follows in the footsteps of his father who is also a trustee, and both are planning a summer trip to the country to see first-hand the benefits that Creative Cooperation brings.

“It’s always good to give something back,” he added. “I come from quite a rough area of Leeds, so I appreciate the things I have in life a little bit more and anything I can do to help other people I will do.”

“My dad goes out to Ethiopia every year; he’s got a football team out there and so far I’ve donated shirts and equipment.”

“I haven’t been out yet, but I plan to go out this summer for the first time and I’ll probably have mixed feelings when I’m out there.”

“It’ll be good to see all the positive work being done with all the children, but obviously some of the people are living in poverty and have experienced extreme hardship in their lives.”

“It’ll be a very humbling experience and hopefully I can make some sort of difference when I’m over there.
When I was younger I wish there had been more opportunities to just go out and enjoy myself really, so now that I’m in a privileged position I want to try and be a positive influence if I can.”

“I think I was pretty lucky really with the way things panned out for me. I was playing for Leeds City Boys every week and was fortunate enough to get scouted, but more and more now there are chances for young talent to come through.”

“I think back to when I started playing; it was a little bit harder to make it to the top, so anything I can do to help that I will do, definitely. I want to inspire youngsters as much as I can.”