The way it finished at Leicester didn’t sit right with me, and I don’t believe it did with Khun Vichai (Srivaddhanaprabha – the former owner of Leicester City, above), either. So when we later agreed to meet and discuss the job at OH Leuven in Belgium – just the two of us, with no agents involved – it was very personable, and very straightforward.
At times I must have been somewhat of a conundrum for him, as my stubbornness and forthrightness on football matters was always balanced by my absolute respect for him as my superior. I will always be eternally grateful to Khun Vichai for the opportunity to reconnect, and to work together a second time.
His love for quality wine is well-known. He once presented me with an incredibly expensive bottle, which at the time I was almost embarrassed to accept. He insisted, and told me to celebrate with it. I still have it.
I have never really known how I would celebrate with such a prized gift. But I do now. I will open it, and savour it with my family. We will toast the fact that we are all grateful that our paths have crossed with Khun Vichai. Our lives are all that much fuller for the experience.
“I didn’t know I would get a job back in England one day”
I will miss him. We all will.
People assumed that I was in Leuven to find a job back in England. But if you’d asked if I’d be back in England one day I wouldn’t have known, and couldn’t have told you.
I’d regardless have been sure that I’d have been better equipped, because I would have had another experience that gives a bit more variety, and a different perspective on how to view things.
You move on, because you have to.