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GAME 5: Lat Krabang, Thailand


Flying up from Christchurch to Bangkok via Auckland and Kuala Lumpur was gruelling.

Setting off from Christchurch at 8.30am, I landed in Bangkok the following day at 1.25am local time. The heat was incredible! All that travelling across different time-zones and those amazing shenanigans in Australia and New Zealand had left me a shell of a chap. With only one night here before travelling to Koh Tao (to surprise my travelling son Danny). I took my ball and jumpers and my exhausted chubby body out into the cauldron of Lat Krabang. It was 6pm in the oppressively humid evening and 34 degrees. No tourists here. My head was battered; my bright white legs stood out a mile in this bustling town on the outskirts of Bangkok! 5 minutes later I came across a dream….a park completely over-run with people of all ages playing football! The state I was in, I needed an easy game. I plonked my jumpers down and waited. Two blokes came over for a chat. When I explained what I was up to, they shouted over a bunch of young uns and minutes later we had a 6 v 6 going on! There were replica Liverpool, United and Arsenal shirts everywhere. The global brand in action. The game itself was quality! These young lads played with a good shape, sticking to their positions, playing neat, incisive football from start to finish. The short passing from the smaller ones especially was joyful to watch; their concentration total. They had learnt the game from football purists; on the rare occasion the ball flew in the air there were groans all round. A small crowd had gathered. Aware of this, the intensity on the pitch increased. The reds took the lead with a neat one-two and finish, then the other reds equalised with seconds to go; a great game. Off I dripped back to the hotel and the God that is air conditioning. Those boys had saved me tonight! Now to Koh Tao !

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