April 5th, 2012
Soccerex European Forum: A Quick Tour Of The Expo Floor
Soccerex, the global business network for the football industry, held its annual conference in the North of England last week, affording retired footballers the chance to say hello and exchange man hugs (see: Patrick Vieira and Steffen Freund, at left), executives time to try out the latest and greatest gadgets and gizmos (see: Arsenal’s Vice Chairman, David Dein, above) and charities booth space to drum up interest in their fundraising pursuits (see: Shay and Jane Given, below).
In other words, it was a serious event for seriously powerful and/or high profile people of the sport to conduct business of the utmost importance.
The Fashion Kicks charity, founded by Republic of Ireland and Aston Villa goalkeeper Shay Given and his wife Jane in 2004, was chosen by the forum as its official weeklong charity partner – a major coup for the annual fundraising event that’s raised more than £1 million for causes and charities close to the couple’s hearts.
Speaking of which, another batch of Premiership footballers are expected to strut their stuff alongside Shay down the catwalk at this year’s event – scheduled for the evening of 1 May at Lancashire County Cricket Ground – including a few current Aston Villa teammates (Darren Bent, Carlos Cuellar, Emile Heskey) as well as some of Shay’s former Manchester City colleagues (Adam Johnson, Joe Hart, Vincent Kompany, Joleon Lescott).
It’s safe to say we won’t be going to next year’s Soccerex gathering either.