Today is Ming's birthday. Ming has been a great friend and business partner to me so this year I wanted to give him something special for his birthday. I initially had something else in mind until Pierre called me one day and mooted an idea.
You see... Ming's the kind of guy who puts a lot of value in experiences. More value in experiences than in physical items. Like when we went to Singapore F1 last year, he bought the official caps for all of us not because the cap looked nice or anything but so that we all had something to take away and remember the night.
The other thing about Ming is that he's a HUGE Manchester United fan. The biggest I have ever seen. He knows everything about every player and he makes it a point to catch almost every match. Every year he will also make it a point to fly halfway across the world just to watch a Man Utd match and support his team.
When his team takes home a big win, Ming sometimes gets so happy he cries. When Man Utd loses though, even his girlfriend Estee says that she knows how to stay out of his way the next morning for he'll be in a very very foul mood.
So combining the two together Pierre and I put together a birthday surprise for him. Last Friday we forced him to come down to KL for it not telling him what the surprise was. He kept guessing what it was and seeing that it was dinner he kinda guessed that we were bringing someone over to meet him.
This is Ming at the dinner before he knew who he was meeting. All anxious and all still trying to guess who we were bringing.
What Pierre and I did was...... well... we managed to get football legend Bryan Robson to fly down to KL just to have dinner with Ming.
Just in case you're not so much into football, Bryan Robson is an English football manager and former player. He used to play midfield for Manchester United where he was the longest serving captain in club history. He's also a Manchester United Ambassador and apparently really close to Alex Ferguson till today so he keeps in touch with all the current Manchester United players.
He's also known as "Captain Marvel".
When he walked in, Ming acted all perfectly normal only for us to learn later that he was actually screaming in excitement inside. He initially started off by asking Bryan what he was doing in KL. Bryan answered that he was in KL just to have this dinner with Ming. Ming somehow didn't believe it so he asked Bryan another couple more times throughout the night until we had to really drum it into him that Bryan Robson had REALLY flown in all the way to KL just to have that one dinner with him.
They spent the night talking all about football. About Bryan's career, how he started off, how the other Manchester United players are like ie Rooney, Ronaldo etc etc. The takeaways Ming got from that dinner alone was priceless to Ming. He had so many of his questions answered and so many things he learned.
Bryan told me later in the night that he could really see Ming's love for Manchester United... just by the way he talked about his club.
Before we ended dinner, we got Bryan to autograph a Manchester United jersey for Ming right there and then. Bryan also gave Ming an autographed copy of his biography called "Robbo".
Man.... Bryan was a really nice guy. It's unbelievable how down-to-Earth a football legend like he was. To be honest I'm not as into football as Ming is but still... being there in his presence was quite an experience.
After dinner we had some beers where we talked more until the time came for Bryan to leave. Right after Bryan left, Ming turned to Pierre and me and said
"THAT WAS FUCKING AMAZING!"
"THAT WAS FUCKING AMAZING!"
Ming called it... "The best Birthday Present" he had ever got.