Published on October 1, 2007
In fact, the final score was 7-7, which from the media's point of view was excellent considering that the "friendly" match took place at Army Stadium and the biggest brass of them all (though surely more used to half-tracks) scored himself a hattrick just before halftime.
Afterwards Sonthi thanked the reporters from the sports and military beats who turned out. There were about 50 of them, although, in another act of repression, they weren't all allowed on the field at the same time.
The press in turn gave the retiring Army chief a gift-wrapped box, and the contents delighted him even though they were thoroughly soaked after the bomb squad quickly dunked the box in a water tank.
While he was opening it the wags in the crowd warned him that it could be a Manchester City team jersey. It's well known that he's a die-hard fan of Manchester United, so giving him any emblem of their crosstown rivals, especially since City is owned by that man, would have been a slap across the face with an officer's glove, and swords would have suddenly appeared from nowhere.
But it was indeed a Man U jersey, and peace was secured in the Kingdom.