Reds come to town as Legacy of Legends tour lands in Pattaya

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The ballroom at the Centara Grande Mirage Beach Resort was temporarily transformed into the ‘theatre of dreams’ for many local football fans on Saturday, June 11 as the Legacy of Legends kicked off the Pattaya leg of their inaugural charity drive with a gala dinner featuring former Manchester United players Clayton Blackmore, Denis Irwin, Lee Sharpe & Andy Cole.

Legacy of Legends is Thailand’s first sport and entertainment charity event promoter.  One of the organization’s chief driving forces is Kevin Fisher, who has invested in these high profile events featuring sporting heroes in support of multiple charities in Thailand.  He is a long-term resident in Thailand and recognized an opportunity for businesses to assist in helping many non-profit charity organizations in order to build a better life for the needy and the under-privileged.

The Manchester United players on stage with sponsors and organizers during the Myanmar leg of their trip where over 30,000 US dollars were raised for charity.The Manchester United players on stage with sponsors and organizers during the Myanmar leg of their trip where over 30,000 US dollars were raised for charity.

Kevin is used to facing tragic circumstances himself during his previous work in Africa, where he helped provided transport facilities for victims suffering with the HIV/AIDs virus and their families.  He saw kids and adults taken far too soon from this earth because of this terrible disease and this gave him a strong mind and determination to help kids and sustainable organizations in Thailand.  He uses his own financial resources from his business CEA Co., Ltd to sponsor projects and events such as this one at Centara and also encourages other businesses to get involved in corporate social responsibility.

(From left) former Manchester United stars Clayton Blackmore, Lee Sharpe, Andy Cole & Denis Irwin talk on stage at the Centara Grande Mirage Beach Resort in Pattaya, Saturday, June 8.(From left) former Manchester United stars Clayton Blackmore, Lee Sharpe, Andy Cole & Denis Irwin talk on stage at the Centara Grande Mirage Beach Resort in Pattaya, Saturday, June 8.

The Centara Grande Mirage & Spa has been the venue for many special parties over the years and this time the management delivered a first class event, with a delicious five-course meal accompanied by free flow wine, beer and soft drinks.

Yves Baron Le Tenor wows guests with his rendition of “Barcelona.”.Yves Baron Le Tenor wows guests with his rendition of “Barcelona.”.

The ballroom was the perfect setting and after the guests were seated the MC introduced the first entertainer of the evening, the wonderful singing voice of Yves Baron Le Tenor, who set the mood perfectly by performing a stirring rendition of the Freddy Mercury/ Montserrat Caballé hit song “Barcelona”, the Spanish city coincidentally being the scene of one of Manchester United’s greatest footballing triumphs.

Following Yves Baron onto the stage were the children from the Mechai Pattana School who provided a truly moving performance of “We Are The World”, that left precious few dry eyes in the house.  These children represent one of the four beneficiaries that Legacy of Legends is supporting.

The Mechai Viravaidya Foundation has recently been focusing on youth philanthropy and education through the Mechai Pattana School, the Green Village Toy Library, and the Youth Philanthropy program to ensure that children grow up to be good citizens and recognize the joy of doing public good.

Legacy of Legends also assist the Camillian Home which is a registered non-profit children’s charity in Lat Krabang, Bangkok.  It is a unique facility designed to allow Orphaned children living with HIV/AIDs and disabilities to receive specialized care and treatment in an environment that encourages and develops the capability of each child, regardless of the severity of their condition.

The third charity is Women with a Mission, which is a private voluntary organization working to make a positive difference to the lives of children living along the Thailand/Myanmar border and families in the region of Chonburi.  They believe that individuals who actively participate in community development can make a difference and they accept their responsibility to help those who find themselves in situations beyond their own control.

The fourth beneficiary of Legacy of Legends is Operation Smile, which is an international children’s medical charity that heals children’s smiles, forever changing their lives by providing safe, effective reconstructive surgery and related medical care for children born with facial deformities such as cleft lip and cleft palate.

The four ex-professional footballers, the stars at this event, have taken the charity angle of this trip to their hearts and have been active in encouraging support of worthy causes during their time here in Pattaya, Bangkok and also in Myanmar.

Kevin Fisher - one of the founders of Legacy of Legends.Kevin Fisher – one of the founders of Legacy of Legends.

Along with gala dinners and golf fundraising events, the four also took part in a special soccer training school in Bangkok last week to encourage Thai children from all backgrounds to take up sport.

Whilst waiting for the footballing icons to make their grand appearance at Centara last Saturday, the hundreds of guest in attendance were kept happily entertained with music from classical guitarist Nattachai and the Violin Princess – Rungarun Junghenjit –and also the hilarious and irreverent comedy of Australia’s Jonathan Atherton.

Finally the moment arrived that all had been waiting for as the Manchester United stars were led into the ballroom by the Mechai Pattana School children before being invited onto the stage by the MC.  Each player then gave some humerous and often insightful anecdotes of their time playing for one of the world’s greatest football clubs under the stewardship of managerial legend Sir Alex Ferguson, before the MC passed the mikes around the floor for guests to direct questions to their soccer heroes.

A charity auction then followed hosted by John Collingbourne that featured some highly desirable items of football and Manchester United related memorabilia and that raised many thousands of baht for the charities already mentioned.

There was still time for the players to join guests on the dance floor for the closing disco and to sign some final autographs before they retired for the evening in preparation for their morning flight to Myanmar.

Kevin Fisher (left) poses for a photo with Daniel Boccalini, Host of True Visions ‘My Second Home’ and H.E Mark Kent British Ambassador to Thailand during the Legends gala dinner in Bangkok last week.Kevin Fisher (left) poses for a photo with Daniel Boccalini, Host of True Visions ‘My Second Home’ and H.E Mark Kent British Ambassador to Thailand during the Legends gala dinner in Bangkok last week.

The Manchester United players were due to return to Pattaya on Wednesday, June 12 for a charity golfing event at Phoenix Golf Club and a report of this event will feature in next week’s Pattaya Mail.

For anyone wishing to know more about Legacy of Legends and their proposed future events, go to website: www.legacyoflegends.org.

Andy Cole poses with 2 happy young United fans from the Mechai Pattana School.Andy Cole poses with 2 happy young United fans from the Mechai Pattana School.

Clayton Blackmore is flanked by the lovely Kaew and Teay.Clayton Blackmore is flanked by the lovely Kaew and Teay.

Manchester United’s new Brazilian fan club.Manchester United’s new Brazilian fan club.

Joe Cox (right), MD of Defence International Security Services, who celebrated his birthday on the same evening as the Pattaya football dinner is congratulated by Irena De Ribas of The Russian Real Estate Magazine.Joe Cox (right), MD of Defence International Security Services, who celebrated his birthday on the same evening as the Pattaya football dinner is congratulated by Irena De Ribas of The Russian Real Estate Magazine.

The Mechai Pattana School children sing “We Are The World.”The Mechai Pattana School children sing “We Are The World.”

Pattaya Reds get ready to meet their footballing heroes.Pattaya Reds get ready to meet their footballing heroes.

Dennis Irwin (right) jokes with guests at the dinner table.Dennis Irwin (right) jokes with guests at the dinner table.