Fulham to erect Michael Jackson statue

Fulham today confirmed a commemorative statue of the late Michael Jackson is being erected at Craven Cottage at the behest of chairman Mohamed Al Fayed.

Al Fayed, who was a close friend of Jackson, commissioned a statue in memory of the pop icon following his death in 2009.

The Fulham chief originally planned to erect it outside his Harrods store, but following the sale of the Knightsbridge landmark, he decided it should be situated at Craven Cottage.

The statue, depicting Jackson in one of his most iconic poses, will stand on the banks of the River Thames, adjacent to the stadium's Riverside and Hammersmith stands.

Jackson did visit Craven Cottage as a guest of Al Fayed, who told his club's website, www.fulhamfc.com: "Michael Jackson was truly a legend, a term used too often in this modern world saturated in the hyperbole surrounding celebrity.

"He was my friend, a man with whom I shared many happy memories and who died a tragic and untimely death.

"He left behind a legacy of music so vast it takes one's breath away; from a precocious talent to an ingenuity and groundbreaking modernity that shall never be repeated.

"It shall often be imitated, but it will never be replicated.

"Michael Jackson was, and shall always remain, one of a kind.

"I hope that many fans of his will visit the statue at the Cottage from far and wide, and that Fulham fans will appreciate seeing the finest performer in the world in and amongst them, the finest fans in the world."

The statue will be unveiled on Sunday, April 3 before the Cottagers' home game against Blackpool.