Newly-appointed Manchester United interim manager Ralf Rangnick donated £1,000 to a struggling English non-league team during the coronavirus pandemic last year.

The 63-year-old German succeeds Ole Gunnar Solskjaer on a six-month contract before taking up a two-year consultancy role at Old Trafford.

In the late 1970s, Rangnick enjoyed a year studying in England and turned out for non-league side Southwick as a 21-year-old, before moving back to his native Germany.

He made his donation after the Mid-Sussex League side were rendered homeless due to the financial uncertainty of the pandemic as they struggled to make ends meet.

Southwick's club media officer John Baine has detailed how the new United boss helped the Wickers in 2020 as they were forced to ground-share with local side Whitehawk.

"A mate of mine said to me ‘Well, Ralf Rangnick used to play for Southwick, why don’t you email and see if he’ll remember us and see if he’ll support?’” he told Mirror Football.

“I said: ‘We’ve had to reform the club, the grounds been closed, we’re currently playing in the local park and we’re looking to regenerate the club that has existed since 1882 and he came up with a donation just like that.

“His assistant sent a lovely email back saying: ‘Of course Ralf remembers his time at Southwick, he wishes you all the best and here is a £1,000 donation.’

“It shows that the guy obviously has a good heart and a love and understanding of grassroots football.”

The money went a long way as they kept their players and, in doing so earned promotion, boasting a 100 per cent record as they moved into the Premier Division of the Mid-Sussex Football League, where they now sit eighth.

After the former RB Leipzig head coach donated the money and added a message of support, he wrote: "Dear Wickers supporters, having played for the Wickers in 1980, it was a great experience for me as a young student and as a player.

"This is why I would love to support your campaign and very much hope that the club can return to the Old Barn Way ground in due course. Up the Wickers! Ralf."

Top class, Ralf!

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