United in Manchester, Thai cave rescue boys meet football heroes

Boys who are part of the Wild Boars youth team meet players and manager José Mourinho

The 12 boys who were trapped for 18 days in a flooded cave in Thailand have been given VIP treatment by Manchester United this weekend.

The boys, part of the youth football team Wild Boars, were hugged by manager José Mourhino at United’s training ground on Saturday, and met players including Paul Pogba and Ander Herrera.

On Sunday they were given plum seats at Old Trafford for the club’s game against Everton.

Welcome to #MUFC, Wild Boars! 😍 pic.twitter.com/lb3fLppDwW

— Manchester United (@ManUtd) October 27, 2018

The boys’ caving ordeal came to a successful conclusion in early July when an international team of cave divers brought them and their coach out in a complicated rescue mission.

Wearing red-and-white United scarves and black training tops, the excited boys took their seats in the directors’ box for the game.

Along with the packed home crowd, they observed a minute’s silence for the victims of the Leicester FC helicopter crash, which is feared to have cost the life of the Thai owner, Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha.

When the boys were rescued, the England defender Kyle Walker posted a picture of one of the boys, who was wearing an England shirt, saying he would like to send them all shirts.

Amazing news that all of the Thai kids are out of the cave safely! I'd like to send out shirts to them! Is there anyone who can help with an address? @England pic.twitter.com/pQYwW4SPh7

— Kyle Walker (@kylewalker2) July 10, 2018

After recovering from their ordeal the boys have been inundated with invitations from around the world. They appeared on the US talk show Ellen earlier this month, and travelled to Argentina for the Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who now plays for LA Galaxy, made a surprise appearance on the Ellen show to meet them. The Swedish player high-fived each one and called them “probably the best team in the world”.


Helen Pidd North of England editors

The GuardianTramp

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