Fulham FC's Michael Jackson statue – a poignant metaphor for fame

The removal of Mohamed Al Fayed's slightly-larger-than-lifesize tribute to the King of Pop highlights the fragility of stardom

Behold, the de-Jackoing of Fulham Football Club, as former owner Mohamed Al Fayed's tribute to Michael Jackson is bizarrely deemed surplus to requirements by the new regime at the club.

Back in 1999, Jackson was Fayed's guest as Fulham beat Wigan 2-0 – but how quickly the King of Pop's contribution to the Lilywhites' rise has been dismissed.

How else to explain the scene at Craven Cottage on Wednesday, which must have rung to the sound of anglegrinder on fibreglass loafer, as four Great British professionals grappled with this most solemn of tasks. As far as statuary goes, I always find "slightly larger than lifesize" the most unsettling scale – but no one can accuse these gentlemen of failing to afford Jackson his dignity.

Thanks to their sensitivity, the tableau serves as the most poignant of reminders. We put people on pedestals – we rivet them on, sometimes – but even the greats are never more than four high-vis gilets away from the scrapheap.

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