In 2002, Michael Jackson was made an honorary director of the soccer club, Exeter by the then board. He was given the opportunity to speak to the almost filled to capacity 10,000 seat Exeter audience. The event was means to raise cash for the club and two charites aimed at combatting AIDS and Malaria. Exeter co-chairman John Russell said at the time:
“All clubs are finding it difficult, we have to develop new areas of making money to help keep the football going.”
“We are putting Exeter City on the map with this event as Michael Jackson is an attraction worldwide.”
Michael was accompanied on stage by magician David Blaine and Uri Geller. Patti
Transcript of Michael Jackson’s speech which begin at 2:12 on video.
“Hello everybody. Hello to you wonderful people of Exeter. To the great supporters of the Exeter City Football Club. Welcome to all the great fans that have come from here and far. To all you children.
I’m very happy, very happy to be here with you today. Today, today we come here to support children. We come here to support children with AIDS. To help, to help beyond these of those affected by HIV and AIDS.
“We more help them to build a good future. All of us working together for them. A future without prejudice. For these children and their families.
“We are here to support and help the people of Africa to find a solution in the fight against the swear of HIV AIDS … and malaria … through education and awareness, we aim at conviction but we help with cure.
“We are here to support you, the supporters and players of this great football club.
“Sadly, sadly, we live in a state of fear. Everyday we hear of war on the news, on the radio and television and the newspapers, always of war. We hear of nations hurting each other, of neighbours hurting each other, of families hurting each other and the children killing each other. We must learn to live and love each other before it’s too late. We have to stop! We have to stop the prejudice, we have to stop the hating, we have to stop living in fear of our own neighbours.
“I would like all of you now to take the hand of the person to the left and to the right. Go ahead! Right now! I mean it! Don’t be shy! Do it! It starts now! To the person next to you. To the left and the right. I mean it. Right now! Go ahead! Don’t be shy. Do it! Do it! Now, tell the person … tell the person next to you that you care for them. Tell them that you care for them. Tell them that you love them. Tell them that you love them. This is what makes the difference.
“Together … together we can make a change of the world. Together we can help to stop racism. Together we can help to stop prejudice. We can help the world live without fear. It’s our only hope, without hope we are lost.
“England is gonna win? I believe you, I believe you. You know … I know nothing about sports but I believe you. Hmmm, thank you all, thank you Exeter. I’m very proud and happy to be here. Thank you Exeter Football Club. Thanks to all the wonderful fans… I see Israel, I see Spain, I see countries all over the world. I love you!
“Thank you to all my team. And a special thanks to David Blaine …the world’s greatest. To Patti Boulaye and to the great Uri Geller and Matt Fides …the man. We thank them and all the other performers. Please join me in giving them a great cheer.”
“And, most importantly … (balloons released) – That’s beautiful. That’s a sign of hope. That’s for all the children of the world. I love you. And thank you for everything. All my love and God Bless!!”