Four seafarers working in the UK for the last five months were given a special treat thanks to Fulham Football Club, which provided them with free tickets to their game against Brighton last night (29 January).
Captain Archival Bait and three of the MT Gerda crew travelled to Craven Cottage after international maritime charity Sailors’ Society contacted the club to see if they could help realise their dream of watching a live Premiership match.
Captain Bait said, “It was a fantastic experience and a great game. We're really grateful to Sailors' Society and Fulham Football Club for getting us to our first Premier League game and can’t wait to tell our family in the Philippines about our unforgettable experience.
“We’ll be Fulham fans for life now!”
After the excitement of the game, which finished 4-2 to Fulham, the men travelled back to Tilbury docks where they will be based until 7 February, when they set sail for Denmark.
Frans Sahetapy, Sailors’ Society’s port chaplain for Tilbury and London Gateway, helped the men get to the game and has become firm friends with the seafarers.
He said, “Since the crew have been in the UK, they’ve become big fans of the Premier League.
“When I collected the men to go to the game, they said ‘Santa’s coming.’”
The world’s 1.6m seafarers can spend months at sea, transporting 90 per cent of the goods we rely upon on a daily basis.
Sailors’ Society’s CEO, Stuart Rivers, said, “What can seem like a small gesture like tickets to a football game, will live long in the memory of these seafarers and we are really thankful to Fulham for making their dream to see a live game come true.”