Lifelike replica of 'keeper arrives in Mumbai for Premier League Live
BEN Foster touched down in Mumbai last night to begin a week-long stay in India’s biggest city.
But Baggies fans shouldn’t fret – their England goalkeeper will be on hand to face Villa in Saturday’s big Hawthorns derby.
The Foster now taking residence in India is a precise silicone cast of the Albion ‘keeper produced by model firm Lifelike Replicas.
He will take pride of place on Albion’s stand at the Barclays Premier League Live event which goes ahead this weekend in Mumbai.
Albion are among a cluster of top flight clubs who will be presenting to the increasingly football-mad audience in India but the man behind the Foster model, the club’s sales and marketing director Adrian Wright, believes big Ben can steal the show.
“We believe it is the first ‘cast’ of a current footballer and we’re hoping a lot of the youngsters especially will want to be photographed with him,” says Adrian. “It’s all about engaging with them and the model really catches the eye.”
Foster had to volunteer for detailed preparation, which included an uncomfortable few hours plastered in silicone, before being introduced to his ‘double’ just before the Albion party left for Mumbai.
“Handsome devil isn’t he?” laughed Ben – and Baggies fans can see for themselves what Ben, his wife Kate and big goalkeeping buddy Boaz Myhill made of the model in the video below.
But behind the laughs is the club’s determined aim to raise Albion’s profile and capture the interest of the booming football market out in India.
More than 100,000 visitors are expected over the weekend and the Baggies crew will offer the chance to interact via a 1 v 1 football challenge and other activities.
And Albion are the only club to arrange to stay on in Mumbai to continue with the development of their "Pass It Forward" CSR programme launched in Delhi in January.
The club once again have teamed up with The Albion Foundation and India based Youth Football International to deliver a programme of coaching and development over three days working closely with the influential Non Government Organisation (NGO) Salaam Bombay.
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