Many fans of English Premier League (EPL) football (and amongst them are many Christians) have been left bewildered by the meteoric rise of Leicester City Football Club, a once unfancied club that is now amongst the pinnacle of the league.
According to a report by MyTimes, Thai Buddhist monks have been the secret’s behind the football club’s incredible performance this season.
“The owners bring the monks over from Thailand and we get a blessing off them,” revealed Leicester City’s top striker, James Vardy.
“They dip the sticks in the holy water and then lash us on our legs and feet. It’s not too hard, it’s just that you’re literally having a shower, there’s that much water going everywhere. It’s all over your gear you’ve just hung up.”
“That’s the Thai culture and we are happy for them to do it.”
Photos above: MyTimes
Vardy believes that the blessings from the Buddhist monks are effective.
“I have to pinch myself all the time about how my career has gone but I certainly didn’t expect I’d be visited by monks and covered in holy water,” said Vardy told The Telegraph, after his team had won a stunning 5-3 victory against Manchester United.
“Before that United game it was almost like I’d had a bath – heads, shoulders, legs. It worked though didn’t it? They need to come back here more often. They can’t buy anything or have money on them, they can only receive gifts. They’ve got better technology than I have – iPads, phones, you name it. It’s all been like a dream but it’s time to keep that dream going now.”
Vardy was spotted wearing a Buddhist necklace after the game against Manchester United, noted the Daily Mail.
Indeed, if you believe it is just gritty and direct football that have hoisted Leicester to the top of the table, Thai monk Phra Prommangkalachan will correct you, reported The Times.
“Good karma is the key,” says the 64-year-old.
For the last three years, he and half a dozen fellow Buddhist monks have been making regular trips to the club, to bless the pitch and hand out lucky talismans to the players.
“I hang some amulets on their necks and I gave them fabric talismans,” Phra said at a temple in Bangkok.”I’m not sure if they understood, but they knew that it would bring them luck.
“(Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, the owner of the club) brought monks there to pray for auspiciousness and luck in the game, for the management team and the players.”