Michael Jackson statue unveiled in London, by Mohamed Al Fayed: April 3, 2011
Mohamed Al Fayed said: “Michael Jackson was truly a legend, a term used too often in this modern world saturated in the hyperbole surrounding celebrity.
‘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 ground breaking 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.”
LONDON April 3, 2011 – Fulham unveiled a statue of Michael Jackson outside its stadium, with team chairman Mohamed Al Fayed telling fans to support another Premier League club if they don’t like the idea. Al Fayed, who was close friends with Jackson, danced with children after unveiling the statue of the “King of Pop” before Fulham’s home match against Blackpool. The statue outside Craven Cottage has divided opinion, but Al Fayed launched a passionate defense of his move to commemorate his friendship with Jackson, who died in 2009. He said. “Football fans love it. 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.” “People will queue to come and visit it from all over Britain and it is something that I and everybody else should be proud of,” Al Fayed said. The statue had been slated to be erected outside Harrods department store, but those plans were shelved when Al Fayed sold the business last year.
“Michael Jackson was a true genius,” Fayed said. “When he was on stage, everyone watched him. He had a rare gift that inspired people of every race, in every country, right across the world.
“A few years ago, Michael came to Harrods to do some shopping and I asked him if he would like to watch a game of football with me. He accepted and I remember how excited he was, sitting in my box at Fulham and watching the game progress.
“I hope that Michael is now at peace and pray that people will remember him as he should be remembered; as one of the most influential music legends the world has ever seen.