With the country of Thailand and Manchester United Football Club being very close to the heart it is hardly surprising that the Manchester United restaurant bar in Sukhumvit Road on soi 11 about half way down is an integral part of my Bangkok itinerary.
Even with the disappointment of just missing out on a 20th league title Manchester United remain the kings in terms of popularity, finding that its fan base had doubled to 659 million. Now 659 million is approximately one tenth of the world’s population and 325 million of these came from Asia alone. Manchester United are massive in Asia and I am certainly well aware of this whenever I am in Thailand.
This will be the last time any football related post is on here, but I want to alert Manchester United fans who are going to Thailand on holiday or on business of a great place to watch the games. If you are a follower of Manchester United Football Club then you might want to take a look at my other blog called Manchester United Memories. I intend in the future to base this blog more around Manchester United for Thailand and Asia.
Being that I have spent and also plan continuing to spend a lot of my time in Thailand and quite often Bangkok, I am delighted that I have found a second home that is a fine substitute for the theatre of dreams Old Trafford. On Soi 11, Sukhumvit road in Bangkok (and a good way down the Soi) the Manchester United Restaurant Bar can be found. It is on the ground floor of the President Palace Hotel and what a great place it is as well.
Whatever time kick off and what ever the day you can always catch the Manchester United games live here and among fellow reds. It does not take very long at all before you are deep in conversation about the current team or taking a stroll down memory lane talking about former greats with a fellow red.
Also on offer is a fine Asian and Western menu, so you can watch the game whilst enjoying fine food. If the place is completely packed inside then you can watch the game on the big projection screen outside whilst having a drink.
On my last visit to the Manchester United Restaurant bar on 11th February 2012 ( the Liverpool home league game)I had the great honour of meeting former captain marvel Bryan Robson and former right- back Paul Parker who were there for a promotion of Mister potato chips.
The evening was to team up Mister Potato a sort of different flavoured pringle type crisps and Manchester United. The initial questions by the Thai presenter for Paul and Bryan were all about linking football with Mister Potato and I thought they both did well answering these linked based prompted questions. Next on to the stage came two top Thai footballers that Bryan Robson in his recent time as manager of Thailand knew well, before they were allowed to accept questions from the floor.
I managed to get a question in to Paul and Bryan asking Paul about the difference that Paul Scholes has made on his return to United from retirement and asking Bryan how Ryan Giggs still manages to keep going season after season. One of the top Thai footballers asked who should wear the famous number 7 jersey at United now after Robson, Beckham, Catona, Ronaldo etc. With question time over they led them in to the back off stage again to the guest suite.
On knowing that Bryan Robson was going to be at the restaurant that evening I had brought along my 1985 F.A cup semi final replay program of Manchester United v Liverpool in the hope that I might be able to get him to sign it. A bit later on they came back through to do the prize draw and I managed to seize my opportunity.
As Bryan Robson finished the prize draw and was leaving I said ” Bryan any chance of signing this” as I handed him a 1985 F.A cup semi final replay program of Manchester United v Liverpool and told him about the man who got the brilliant equaliser in the game (himself of course). It brought a chuckle out of Bryan and a signature from the great former United captain for me.
It was unfortunate that I could not get the signature of Paul Parker, but be thankful as I had the signature of the legend Bryan Robson. So in 1985 I had the program and 27 years later in Bangkok, Thailand I had it signed by the man who turned the match around before Mark Hughes got the winner on that great evening.
I have been spoilt at the Manchester United Restaurant Bar building up a fine winning run on my visits. My record at the Manchester United Restaurant and Bar in Bangkok, Thailand reads five appearances, 5 wins, one signed program by Bryan Robson and of course meeting Paul Parker and Bryan Robson. Besides this it is a fantastic place to watch the games and the United fans in Bangkok are really lucky to have this.
Having said all that the Thai United fans I met in there and made friends with know their stuff. The Thai Manchester United fans are as keen Manchester United fans as you would meet anywhere.
So if you are in Bangkok and are a massive Manchester United fan then make sure you get over to Sukhumvit Road Soi 11, Bangkok and enjoy the live matches yourself.
They have also put together a fantastic wall gallery of great players past and present. Some fantastic photos of the greatest player I have ever seen ” George Best”.
Something George might well have approved of is the Miss she devil beauty contest, stunning Thai ladies in Manchester United attire of course.
http://www.mufbthai.com/gallery_mufb.php?id=65 (Miss she devil beauty contest)
The great thing is that you can talk with fellow reds and share the memories down the years over a drink and in pleasant surroundings.
The Manchester United Restaurant Bar can be found on soi 11 in Sukhumvit Road, Bangkok (Ground Floor President Palace Hotel)
http://www.mufbthai.com/index.php (Manchester United Restaurant Bar, Bangkok)
Manchester United: The Biography: The Complete Story Of The Worlds Greatest Football Club by Jim White