MANCHESTER United FC fans from Malaysia and other South-East Asian countries gathered in full force at the inaugural United Red Army Malaysia Charity Gala Dinner at the Palace of the Golden Horses at the Mines in Kuala Lumpur.
The dinner, organised by Red Army Malaysia (RAM), the official Manchester United Fan Club in Malaysia, was in aid of the Manchester United Foundation.
It hopes to raise proceeds to be channelled back into numerous assistance programmes for children in South-East Asia, particularly Malaysia.
The guest of honour was Raja Muda of Perlis Tuanku Syed Faizuddin Putra Tuanku Syed Sirajuddin Jamalullail.
Also present was former Man Utd player Wes Brown, who is a five-time English Premier League, FA Cup and Champions League winner with the Red Devils.
Held in conjunction with the first and largest gathering of Man Utd fans in South-East Asia, the dinner underlined RAM’s charity-through-football initiative to reposition its role as a supporters club from one that is solely social and recreational to an organisation with members who are empowered to give back to the community.
“The love for football binds all members, and that same love and commitment is capable of achieving powerful things, one of which is to contribute to society, affect change and bring assistance to the needy, especially children,” said RAM president Datuk Rosthman Ibrahim.
RAM, he added, will also lead the initiative to build and bring together Man Utd fans in Malaysia and South-East Asia. It is estimated that some two million Man Utd fans are in Malaysia alone.
The highlight of the evening was a collection of player-autographed club jerseys and memorabilia put up for auction. The proceeds went to charity.
Ten lucky fans at the dinner won an all-expense paid package to Old Trafford, the home of Manchester United. The package includes return airfare, airport transfer, accommodation for four days and three nights, a pass to Old Trafford and a museum tour, a one-day city tour, travel insurance, and RAM official T-shirt and scarf. Wes Brown, the 1999 treble icon, will accompany the winners during the stadium tour.
The event was also sponsored by Todak Culture Sdn Bhd, a Malaysian company involved in the production and retail of streetwear and gaming peripherals, and currently leads a community movement to contribute its passion and skills to sports and e-sports.