It has been more than a decade since a statue of Michael Jackson last overlooked the Thames – but thanks to Fulham FC chairman Mohamed Al Fayed, the king of pop is to become a permanent fixture.
The club has revealed that a statue of Jacko will be unveiled at Craven Cottage before the match against Blackpool on April 3, in tribute to the friendship Mr Al Fayed enjoyed with the late superstar.
The specially commissioned statue was originally mooted to be put up outside the Harrods store in Knightsbridge, but has been moved to the Fulham FC ground after the department store was put up for sale.
It comes 16 years after Jackson floated a gigantic statue of himself down the Thames to promote his album HIStory.
Announcing the erection of the statue next to the club's Riverside and Hammersmith stands, Mr Al Fayed said: "Michael Jackson was truly a legend, a term used too often in this modern world saturated in the hyperbole surrounding celebrity.
"He was my friend, a man with whom I shared many happy memories and who died a tragic and untimely death. He left behind a legacy of music so vast it takes one’s breath away, from a precocious talent to an ingenuity and ground breaking modernity that shall never be repeated. It shall often be imitated, but it will never be replicated, Michael Jackson was, and shall always remain, one of a kind."
The chairman added that he hoped fans of the singer would visit craven Cottage 'from far and wide' and that Fulham fans 'will appreciate seeing the finest performer in the world, in and amongst them, the finest fans in the world.'
But the prospect of a Jacko statue drew anger from a number of Fulham supporters, with more than 60 people signing a petition on the club's website calling for the move to be abandoned within 24 hours of it being announced.
One writing as Colonel Bennett branded the statue 'cheap tat', adding: "No consultation with fans, no clue or complete contempt about this club's fine history."
Another said: "I keep hoping that this is a premature, and embarrassing, April fool's joke."
Others struck a more pragmatic tone.
One fan using the name Logicman said supporters would have to accept some of Mr Al Fayed's 'eccentricities' if the chairman is to continue giving the club his financial backing.
He said: "The place this statue appears is not as prominent as some people might believe, and if it was a straight choice between keeping the statue or losing Mohamed Al Fayed's backing, I know which side I would fall on, and when push comes to shove, and all the hue and cry has died down, I feel a lot of people will feel the same."
The statue is already thought to be in place and will be officially unveiled at 12pm on April 3.