Boys rescued from Thai cave welcomed by Manchester United

Posted at 9:32 PM, Oct 28, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-28 23:32:29-04

(CNN) — The 12 boys from the young Thai football team who were rescued after being trapped in a flooded cave network in northern Thailand have met players of Manchester United as well as the club’s manager Jose Mourinho.

Aged between 11 and 16, the Wild Boars team spent Saturday at United’s training ground and then paid a visit to the Manchester club’s Old Trafford stadium for a tour before watching Mourinho’s team beat Everton 2-1 in an English Premier League match on Sunday.

The Thai team was pictured receiving applause from supporters at Old Trafford ahead of the Everton game.

Before the match started a minute’s silence was observed in memory of Remembrance Sunday and also the crash of Leicester City’s Thai billionaire owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha’s helicopter.

The club revealed later Sunday that Srivaddhanaprabha died when the helicopter crashed into a parking lot next to King Power Stadium and burst into flames. Four others on board the aircraft also died.

Nine-day ordeal

Earlier this month the Wild Boars played a friendly match at Argentina’s Monumental Stadium, which hosted the 1978 World Cup final.

The boys, aged between 11 and 16 had been invited by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to attend the 2018 Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires.

The team was accompanied by the coach who also became trapped in the Tham Luang caves for more than two weeks in June this year. Wearing an all purple kit, the Wild Boars played leading Argentine club River Plate’s Argentina’s Under-13 team in a game that finished 3-3.

The boys and their coach were successfully rescued between July 8 and 10 after international cave diving expertsevacuated them one-by-one.

They hadn’t eaten any food during the nine-day ordeal and drank murky water from inside the cave.

Football’s world governing body FIFA had invited the boys and their coach to attend the World Cup final in Moscow between France and Croatia on July 15, but due to medical reasons they were unable to go.