Someone asked me how my blog and newspaper column came to be titled "Bleachers Brew". It's like this, it's an amalgam of sorts of two things: The bleachers area in the stadium/arena where I used to sit when I would watch baseball, football, and basketball games and Miles Davis' great jazz album Bitches Brew. That's how it got culled together. I originally planned on calling it "The View from the Big Chair" that is a nod to Tears For Fear's second album, Songs from the Big Chair. So there.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Seeing Liverpool Red at the Bangkok School for the Blind

Liverpool FC legends Didi Hamann and Ian Rush participated in a unique football clinic at Bangkok.
This appears on

Seeing Liverpool Red at the Bangkok School for the Blind
by rick olivares

Bangkok, Thailand — The young blind Thai students had their left hand on top of the shoulder of their classmate in front of them while their right hand held a stick to guide them as they made their way to a make shift football pitch at the Bangkok School for the Blind.

Over 100 young blind Thai children made their way to the pitch often bumping into the assembled guests and media last July 14 No yellow card for them, mind you, as they are learning to cope with their disability. You feel for them for the hand life has dealt them. On the other hand, you are also excited for them as this once-in-a-lifetime football clinic by Liverpool Foundation coaches was every bit as wonderful as an Ian Rush goal or that Didi Hamann thunderstrike against Portsmouth.

“I’ve never done anything like this before,” noted Rush of this clinic for blind children. The 53-year old Welshman who now works as an ambassador for the club scored 229 goals during his 15-years in the Mersey side. “I’ve done a lot of things for charitable institutions or children’s foundations but this is rather unique. How do you say no to something like this? This was fun and a good way to give back to the fans and the game.”

The children were put through basic football skills such as dribbling, moving forward, and maintaining control of the ball — skills that they use in their every day life. 

“We like to say that football or even sports is a metaphor for life,” added Hamann who like Rush is a European champion with Liverpool. “When you look at the terms of this clinic and see what you can take away from it that’s all wonderful. I am happy to be a part of this and this team’s legacy and commitment to fans all over the world. I was interested in seeing this. It’s a great experience not only for the blind kids but also for us. Imagine what they are going through? They are blind. We are not? We should not take things like our sight for granted."

When Hamann was asked if other Liverpool legends aside from himself were willing to do similar projects in the Philippines, the Waldsassen, Germany native was quick to say, “Why not? If the opportunity presents itself. It would be also good to connect with Philippine fans. It is interesting to hear that we also have a fan base over there."

Lyn Kok, CEO and President, Thailand and Greater Mekong, Standard Chartered Bank said, "The Standard Chartered-Liverpool partnership is more than just sports. Liverpool FC is one of the world's best known football clubs and they are an integral part of the Bank's brand and marketing. I am really proud to work with LFC in delivering our commitment to be here for good in our local community. I am delighted to join the Liverpool FC Foundation and our employee volunteers today at the Bangkok School for the Blind, as we deliver a unique soccer clinic  for the students."

Liverpool was in Bangkok last July 12-14, their fifth time this new millennium where they played a team of Thai football All-Stars aside from its fan commitments. 

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