Airtel uncovers historic partnership with Manchester United


By Chathura Pinnawala

Bharat Bambawale (3rd from left) Director-Global brand, Bharti Airtel along with Manchester United icons Bryan Robson (2nd from left) and Dwight Yorke (4th from left) hold aloft an Airtel Manchester United shirt during a press conference held at Cinnamon Grand, Colombo on Wednesday. Also in the picture are Manilal Fernando(left), former FFSL president and FIFA executive committee member and Ricki Thussu, Relationship Director Manchester United. (Pic by Kamal Bogoda)

Director Global Brand Bharthi Airtel Bharat Bambawale brought to light a historic partnership between the telecommunication company and Manchester United at a media conference held at the Oak Room in Cinnamon Grand recently.

Bambawale stressed that exclusive content and money can’t buy match experiences of one of the leading football clubs in the world Manchester United.

Global Ambassadors of the club former Manchester United captain Bryan Robson and Trinidad and Tobago striker Dwight Yorke were present at the press conference.

Bambawale also stated that their intention is to bring Sri Lankan football fans closer to the exciting world of football. He said, "Manchester United is a global brand which is revered around the world. Interest about the game in the Asia region is increasing at a rapid rate, so it’s appropriate that we share our motivation with a club like Manchester United which would enable us to reach greater heights."

Robson said "We are very happy to come to Sri Lanka. The passion for football, The Premiership and for Manchester United is ever increasing. We at Manchester United want to explore every way to make our supporters enjoy themselves. That’s what we are intending to do via this partnership."

Bryan Robson, 55, who was voted the ‘Greatest Manchester United Player Ever’ in August 2011, is the longest serving captain in United history. It was during his reign that United began to conquer the Premiership. He represented United for 13 years and wore the England jersey 90 times of which 65 was as skipper. Robson was awarded an OBE in 1990 and twelve years later was an inaugural inductee of the English Football Hall of Fame.

Dwight Yorke, 40, nicknamed ‘smiling assassin’ played for United from 98-2002. During the period he scored 47 goals in 95 appearances. Yorke was instrumental along with Andy Cole in United winning the treble in his first season. His honours at Manchester United include three Premier League titles, a FA Cup, a UEFA Champions League and an Intercontinental cup. He was a main stay at Aston Villa before joining the ‘red devils’ and after United he played for Blackburn Rovers, Birmingham City, Sydney FC and Sunderland.

Yorke is also the record holder for the most number of appearances at World Cups (including qualifying stages) with seven. His greatest achievement in International football has to be guiding Trinidad and Tobago to the 2006 World Cup and earning a well deserved draw over Sweden in the first round.


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