A defiant Maidenhead United spokesman has told Magpie fans they can "go to hell" if they don't like a new statue of Michael Jackson erected outside their York Road ground.
The Chairman of the East Berkshire club unveiled the bizarre Eighties-era statue of Jackson, commissioned following the singer's death in June 2009, prior to yesterday's game against Dorchester Town.
Many football fans have been left bemused, believing the so-called link between the singer and team isn't strong enough to warrant such a statue. However, speaking at the unveiling yesterday, the spokesman laughed off suggestions it was 'bizarre'.
He said: "Why is it bizarre? Football fans love it. If some stupid fans don't understand and appreciate such a gift this guy gave to the world they can go to hell. We don't want them to be fans. If they don't understand and don't believe in things we believe in they can go to Marlow, they can go to anywhere else"
A Maidenhead United player, who didn't wish to be named, defended the decision to erect the statue. He said: "Some of our players are Michael Jackson fans, some aren't, and that's the same in the general population. His music has been on in the dressing room a couple of times. I'm sure we won when his music was played"
Although it has been claimed that Jackson 'loved Maidenhead United', the American singer actually only attended one match in 1999. And more recently in 2002, Jackson attended an Exeter City game with friend Willie Tucker and became an honorary chairman of the Devon club.
Speaking about Jackson's relationship with Maidenhead United, the club spokesman said: "The last game he attended here with me, he was running like a child, he loved the place. He loved Maidenhead United, probably because we are a family club, and he wanted to attend all of the matches. People will queue to come and visit it from all over the UK and it is something that I and everybody else should be proud of"
Despite fans' reservations, the statue may have proved a lucky charm - the Berkshire Magpies drew 1-1 with the Dorset Magpies to extend their unbeaten run to six games.