Gavin O’Luanaigh

Ahead of Masters Football Malaysia Cup 2011, Gavin shares his decade in the country and what we can look forward to from this year’s tournament.

by / Published: 30 Nov 2011

Gavin O’Luanaigh

Who are you?

Name Gavin O’Luanaigh
Age 34
Nationality British
Occupation Chief marketing officer
Time in Malaysia 7 years

Home Life

I was married last year on January 1 so that I wouldn’t forget the date. It was on national television (Gavin married the daughter of Malaysian national icon Chef Wan), which was surreal. You know, who am I? [Laughs] We had our first child on September 13, Tristan Tareef, and I’m desperately trying to make him a footballer and not a chef! I’ve put footballs all over the house.

Other television appearances

I’ve just done an Air Asia X advert for their new business class. It’s a bit embarrassing actually and I’m sure I’m going to get a bit of stick for it. I’m this guy who is expecting a cramped seat and so falls back into the flatbed and spills his drink over himself. [Sighs]

What’s new for the Masters Football Malaysia Cup in 2011

It’s growing. We got ten years’ rights and we’re getting better every time. This time there will be free seating in the stadium so fans will find it easier to move and see the best of the action and create an atmosphere.

We’re also doing loads of coupons, two-for-ones and free entries. There will be more ads and it looks like we have the support of Tourism Malaysia, which is great. That will be a big help. And as well as Liverpool, Manchester United and the EPL All- Stars we’ve got a Malaysian team to attract even more local football fans.

Who to watch out for

Players this year include Andy Cole, who was very popular last year. We’ve also got Steve McManaman in Malaysia for the first time, plus Patrick Berger and Vladimir Smicer for Liverpool.

We’re also working on Robbie Fowler who finishes the season with Perth Glory in late February. If he comes he’ll be there with Rob Jones.

They like to come in little groups. Like David Seaman, who travels with Martin Keown. We’re working on them too. And we’ve had a verbal agreement from Gianfranco Zola who is checking his dates. If he comes we might get Dennis Wise too.

Why the Masters is so successful and popular with corporate clients

If you’ve got a client who you know is a big Liverpool fan and you want to say thank you to them, or if you want to treat your staff, this is a money-can’t-buy type of experience. You can bring them down, watch the football, meet the players afterwards, have a proper chat with them, play golf with them and even have dinner with them.

Why you should go

It’s a great day for parents to bring their children along. Tickets are only RM33 and there are so many coupons and two-for-ones around (see p17). We have a carnival going on around the football with tons of inflatables and all the top players will be lined up ready to sign autographs in the programme.

It’s also a very popular event for the guys of my age and a little older as these players are legends from back in the day. The guys who grew up watching these players are now successful businessmen so they get a kick out of coming along, too.