Lioness Ella Toone Surprises Inspirational United Coach After Huntington's Disease Diagnosis
This is the touching moment England footballer Ella Toone surprised one of her childhood coaches. Emma Fletcher has worked as a coach at the Manchester United Foundation's Regional Talent Club (RTC) for girls for 22 years and brought Ella through the age groups as she was developing. Emma was recently diagnosed with Huntington’s disease, which is limiting her ability to work however she still commits her life to developing young girls and grassroots football in Manchester. The inspirational coach has an early onset of the disease, which typically starts affecting adults between the age of 30 and 50. Despite her diagnosis, Emma continues to work for the foundation in the job she adores. “I think I’ve got one of the best jobs in the world,” Emma said after her recent surprise from Ella. “We’ve got the best girls’ development programme, I’d say in the world now, I’d go as far as saying that. I’m really, really proud. I’m just blown away, can’t believe it. It’s an unbelievable surprise.” Through those years, the likes of Toone, Captain Katie Zelem and Millie Turner were all nurtured by Emma in the club's youth ranks “Right from the very start, since I was six or seven years old, she’s always been there, she’s always believed in me, she’s always pushed me,” Toone said. As of this season, the girls’ Academy Player of the Year prize will be named in Emma’s honour to celebrate the 22 years of dedication the coach has put into women’s football at the club.