Manchester United's Ryan Giggs praises Salford services
Manchester United star Ryan Giggs has praised Salford City Council's youth services ahead of an exhibition celebrating 50 years of the provision.
The footballer attended council activities as a teenager and said he had "very fond memories" of the time.
He added that it was "good to see their benefits being recognised."
The photographic exhibition documenting half a century of the city's youth services is being held at The Beacon Centre in Salford.
Salford Youth Services was set up in the 1960s and has been serving the city's teenagers and young adults in a variety of ways ever since.
It now has nine youth centres and holds the aims of encouraging and inspiring young people to achieve their full potential, enabling young people to gain skills and ensuring young people's inclusion as active and valued members of their community
The council report that it has already served around 4,800 young people, who have accessed projects on some 41,000 occasions, in 2010.
Ryan Giggs attended the Boothstown Community Centre in the 1980s and said that he always enjoyed his time there.
"I've got very fond memories of my time at the youth club and the people I met there.
"Football has always been a big part of my life and as a kid I used to go to the club to have a kick about with friends and get involved in different activities.
"The centres are great places for youngsters and they were somewhere safe that I could go as a teenager.
"They helped me to focus on football and it's good to see their benefits being recognised."
That recognition has seen a number of neighbourhood activities take place across the city since late October - including art classes, music workshops and sports activities - and will culminate in the exhibition.
The photographic content has come from Salford's own archive and that of the people who have used the service over the last 50 years.
Amongst the images being displayed is one showing Californian rapper Snoop Dogg's visit to Ordsall Youth Centre in July 2010.
The American star was there to encourage teenagers to get more involved with their communities as part of his participation with the Orange Rockcorps volunteer scheme.
The exhibition is being held at The Beacon Centre in Salford on Thursday 4 November