Fans at the Barclays Premier League Live event in Mumbai
This weekend, over 30,000 fans travelled from around India to attend Barclays Premier League Live in Mumbai. On Saturday and Sunday, fans of the Premier League filled the park, visiting club tents, getting their photos taken with the Barclays Premier League trophy and meeting Premier League Legends like Robbie Fowler and Peter Schmeichel.
On Saturday, fans enjoyed two live games, Chelsea 2-0 Hull City and Leicester City 0-1 Manchester City, while Sunday saw the largest crowd of the weekend gather for Manchester United’s 3-0 win over Liverpool with both sets of supporters in full voice before, during and after the match.
Other activity included coaching sessions with local children hosted by Premier Skills’ coaches and attending Legends on a five-a-side pitch at the park. Crystal Palace hosted a talent competition which resulted in one young player, Dhruvmil Pandya, winning the opportunity to travel to London and train at the Crystal Palace Academy.
Premier League Legend Robbie Fowler, said: “I've been blown away. The crowd was phenomenal. I was at the first BPL Live in Johannesburg and that went as well as we could have imagined, but this is off the scale. We know the Barclays Premier League is the best supported league in the world and events like this give people a chance to get close to the clubs and really just see what the Premier League is all about.”
Premier League Chief Executive Richard Scudamore, said: “The weekend has been a huge success. It’s wonderful to see so many Premier League clubs engaged with their fans, and we’ve had an overwhelmingly positive reaction from all parties.”
Star India Chief Operating Officer Sanjay Gupta, said: “Football is an aspirational sport and India has a committed fan following for the Barclays Premier League. BPL Live is a great initiative to take fans closer to the game, its iconic clubs and legendary heroes.”
After a tour of the park on Friday, Bollywood actor Abhishek Bachchan said: "It is through initiatives like this that the Premier League is really going to make a huge difference to football in India. We are experiencing a footballing revolution."
Former players who attended the event were Mark Bright (Crystal Palace), Robbie Fowler, Emile Heskey (Leicester City), Peter Schmeichel, Graham Stuart (Everton), Lee Trundle (Swansea City) and Dean Windass (Hull City).