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Fulham plan statue for Michael Jackson


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Fulham are to erect a commemorative statue of late American singer Michael Jackson at Craven Cottage at the behest of club chairman Mohamed Al Fayed.

Al Fayed was a close friend of Jackson - referred to as "The King of Pop" - who died in Los Angeles in June 2009.

The statue will be unveiled on Sunday, 3 April, before Fulham's home Premier League game against Blackpool.

"I hope many fans of his will visit the statue from far and wide," Al Fayed told Fulham's official website.

"And I hope that Fulham fans will appreciate seeing the finest performer in the world amongst them, the finest fans in the world."

The statue, depicting Jackson in one of his most iconic poses, will stand on the banks of the River Thames, adjacent to the stadium's Riverside and Hammersmith stands.

Al Fayed had initially planned on placing the statue outside Harrods, but following his sale of the Knightsbridge landmark store in May last year, switched the site to Craven Cottage.

Jackson visited Craven Cottage on April 10th 1999 as a guest of Al Fayed to see their 2-0 victory over Wigan in League Two.

The singer also visited Exeter City in June 2002 as a guest of celebrity spoon-bender Uri Geller, who was a director of the Grecians at the time.

Jackson was later made an honorary chairman of the Devon club.

"Michael Jackson was truly a legend, a term used too often in this modern world saturated in the hyperbole surrounding celebrity," added Al Fayed.

"He was my friend, a man with whom I shared many happy memories and who died a tragic and untimely death.

"He left behind a legacy of music so vast it takes one's breath away; from a precocious talent to an ingenuity and groundbreaking modernity that shall never be repeated.

"It shall often be imitated, but it will never be replicated.

"Michael Jackson was, and shall always remain, one of a kind."

Jackson is recognised as one of the world's most successful recording artists, whose contribution to music, dance and fashion made him a hugely recognised global figure.

In a career spanning four decades he has sold an estimated 750m records worldwide, with 13 number ones in the United States and seven chart-toppers in the UK.

His album "Thriller" has the distinction of being the biggest selling of all time worldwide, with more than 70m copies sold.

Thoughts? One of the strangest football-related stories i've ever read....

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It's not all that surprising when you consider Al Fayed's mindset - this is the same man who was convinced that Princess Di & his son were murdered by the royal family in some crazy conspiracy theory, and despite having little supporting evidence, argued his corner till he was blue in the face!

So a Michael Jackson statue at Fulham sounds completely plausible when you apply "Al Fayed logic" to the decision.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Al Fayed defends Michael Jackson statue at Fulham FC‎

Fulham chairman Mohammed Al Fayed has told fans they can "go to hell" if they do not appreciate a new Michael Jackson statue at Craven Cottage stadium.

Mr Al Fayed unveiled the statue on Sunday prior to the west London Premier League team's match against Blackpool.

The statue was commissioned following Jackson's death in June 2009 and was due to be erected at Harrods before Mr Al Fayed sold the Knightsbridge store.

"Why is it bizarre? Football fans love it," he said after the unveiling.

'Stupid fans'

"If some stupid fans don't understand and appreciate such a gift they can go to hell.

"I don't want them to be fans.

"If they don't understand and don't believe in things I believe in they can go to Chelsea, they can go to anywhere else," he added.

Mr Al Fayed's decision to relocate the statue of Jackson to Fulham's stadium is likely to divide opinion.

The singer was a friend of Mr Al Fayed's but his only known link to the football club is that he attended one game as a guest of the chairman, against Wigan Athletic in 1999.

But Mr Al Fayed said: "People will queue to come and visit it from all over the UK and it is something that I and everybody else should be proud of."

Kit Symons, who played in the match Jackson attended in 1999 and is now under-18s manager at the Cottagers said: "It is great.

"The big thing is it is obviously something that the chairman feels very, very passionately about and he has decided to erect this statue and fair dos to him."

Reflecting on the time of Jackson's visit, he added: "It was just happy times.

"The chairman obviously used to bring high profile people down the games.

"Tony Curtis was here a few weeks after and it was just fantastic times."

Central defender Brede Hangeland said the decision to erect the statue was backed by the club's players.

He said: "Some of our players are Michael Jackson fans, some aren't, and that's the same in the general population.

"His music has been on in the dressing room a couple of times. I'm sure we won when his music was played!

"We have the deepest respect for everything about the chairman. If he wants to do this then it is all good."

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It's wierd. Why not put the statue up in his back garden? I've always liked Jacksons music but wouldn't be over enamoured if it went up outside PP. It bears no relevance to FFC, unless he was a supporter, which I doubt.

Al Fayed is a law unto himself though isn't he - the mans a bit odd who's probably done it for some sort of publicity stunt. Who knows?

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It said he was a friend of MJ so probs wanted to keep him near and show his respect. More money he spends on statues the less he will have to buy Derby's half decent players.

If only that were true - the guys minted and probably in a position to buy Derby 100 times over...:rolleyes:

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If only that were true - the guys minted and probably in a position to buy Derby 100 times over...:rolleyes:

sshhhhhhhhh I'm tryin to keep hope, I don't think he is that rich btw but he has been with Fulham for a long time.

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An expired April fools surely.

Do you mean the statue?? Nah, twas all over the news this aft. Unveiled it to about 50 folks, what a massive event...

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