Could a Michael Jackson statue inspire Fulham? Nah, probably not
Michael Jackson, a sometimes-controversial singer with virtually no connection to the sport of soccer, is to have a statue erected in his honor outside the grounds of Craven Cottage, the home stadium of the English Premier League soccer club Fulham.
Mohamed Fayed, the wealthy Egyptian who owns Fulham and a lot more, has decided that Michael Jackson deserves some measure of immortality alongside the River Thames and, according to a report in Wednesday's Guardian newspaper, has opted for a statue, set to be unveiled April 3.
"Michael Jackson was truly a legend, a term used too often in this modern world saturated in the hyperbole surrounding celebrity," said Fayed, who then went on to employ more than a little hyperbole himself.
"He was my friend, a man with whom I shared many happy memories and who died a tragic and untimely death," he said. "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. I hope that many fans of his will visit the statue at the Cottage from far and wide and that Fulham fans will appreciate seeing the finest performer in the world, in and amongst them, the finest fans in the world."
Well, OK then. But one wonders what Fulham soccer greats of the past -- a player such as Johnny Haynes, for instance -- would make of all this fuss. Well, at least the pigeons will appreciate it.
-- Grahame L. Jones
Photo: Michael Jackson performing at the Irvine Meadows Amphitheater in Irvine Calif., on Nov. 8, 1988. Credit: Ira Mark Gostin