Manchester United to present ‘Exceptional Leader’ award to Thai soccer coach


The Manchester United Foundation will present an “Exceptional Leader” award to Thai Coach “Eakapol Jantawong” at the Copa Tailandesa tournament at Dusit Thani Hotel in Hua Hin, Thailand on the 18th June at 8pm.

Since the biggest cave rescue ever almost six years ago, Thailand’s extraordinary soccer coach has been building his own football academy in Mae Sai, Northern Thailand. Khun Eakapol’s goal is to take underprivileged children of the streets in Mae Sai and give them hope of a better future with football at his academy.

Coach “Eakapol Jantawong”

In 2018, over ten thousand people joined the rescue operation which took place in the Tham Luang Cave Resuce in Chiang Rai where Coach Eak and his football team were stuck for seventeen terrifying days deep within the cave system.

Thanks to a British cave expert living locally Mr Vern Unsworth M.B.E, a plan was hatched and Vern flew in other British divers thanks to support from Tourism Minister Weerasak Kowsurat and Vern and his team spearheaded the biggest rescue ever. During the incredible rescue and against all odds, Coach Eak and his team were all brought out alive from the cave.

Will Robinson of The Isan Project and writer of the cave song “Heroes of Thailand” says “Mr Vern knew every inch of the cave and the plan he put together with fellow British specialist divers was unbelievable but actually it was a miracle Coach Eak managed to keep his young team alive by his team motivation in the cave, the conditions down there were horrific, the divers actually said the mission would be a success if we brought one boy out alive”.

Coach Eak’s work at the Eakapol Football Academy in Mae Sai has been recognized by John Shiels, Chief Executive at the Manchester United Foundation and the award is being presented on Manchester United’s Foundations behalf at Copa Tailandesa Tournament dinner on the 18th June by Manchester United legendary striker Brian McClair.

For more information contact Copa