It was in the sweltering late afternoon heat of Dubai where Gavin Laws, Head of Corporate Affairs for Standard Chartered, watched the last group of children leave the football pitch at the end of the final soccer clinic of the calendar year.
With hundreds more kids having benefited from the chance to enjoy a game of football under the eyes of Liverpool's acclaimed community coaching team, it was a case of being another job very well done as Liverpool FC and our main club sponsors again came together to provide once in a lifetime opportunities for our faraway fans.
"Our partnership with Liverpool was always going to be about more than us just handing over a cheque," said Laws. "That was key in the early discussions. We quickly discovered that both of us had an intuitive desire to help people less privileged than ourselves and I think that's why our partnership has gone from strength to strength since we first came together.
"We want to help people. We want to be out there in the local community. We want to be doing our bit to give kids chances they wouldn't ordinarily have and I think the way ourselves and Liverpool have worked together to achieve these sorts of things this year is fantastic."
The Dubai soccer clinic last week, led as usual by Liverpool FC Club Ambassador Ian Rush, was the fifth such clinic since Standard Chartered signed the deal to become our main club sponsors, with the opening clinic in Kenya last year being followed in 2011 with events in London, Seoul, Mumbai and now Dubai.
"Soccer Clinics were always something we wanted to do because as well as generating exposure for our bank it was an opportunity for us to take Liverpool into some of our markets which are really exciting and growing all the time," he added. "I think some have had more talented footballers than others, but all have had their own individual highlights and all have left a legacy which people in those parts of the world will talk about for some time to come. That's what it's all about.
"Of the four this year, the greatest talent was probably in Korea but then the event in London was spectacular. Most recently we have been to Mumbai and Dubai, two places where football perhaps isn't as popular, but the kids who took part there all enjoyed a great experience as well and the comments we get from the people involved suggest we are making a difference in the lives of young children.
"In Mumbai, for example, we took kids out of the slums to play football. These kids don't have the facilities to go and kick a ball around in the fresh air, so it's a pretty special experience for them to be given that chance.
"We have been delighted with all of the clinics we have run so far. There will be more next year but I think we may do things a little differently. There will always be sessions for children with special needs or for our staff's children to get involved, but I think we'll set up regional competitions or something like that in a bid to get a better standard of players coming along. At the moment it has been a case of anyone can come and work with the Liverpool coaches, but these guys have more skills than just organising a kickaround so it may be that we look to see if we can increase the standard. I'm not saying we'd find a player who can go on to join Liverpool's Academy - although that would be nice - but it would be good if we could just up the standard a little bit at times."
Aside from the success of all four soccer clinics during 2011, Laws insists the summer pre-season tour of Asia was his own personal highlight from the last twelve months as the Reds took China, Malaysia and Singapore by storm over eight unforgettable days in July.
"It was far bigger and better than I ever could have imagined," he says. "The fans were unbelievable and the reaction was incredible. Arsenal and Chelsea were in that part of the world at the same time but it was all about Liverpool as far as the media were concerned and we were front page news day after day. It was fantastic and we can't wait to do it again.
"The magic of Kenny continues to impress us all, of course. He came in and changed the mood of the club almost straight away which was pretty incredible. The team are performing well, results are good and hopefully we can end this season having got back into Europe."
So as well as hoping for a return to continental football over the next year of our sponsorship, what else is the man who negotiated the deal on behalf of Standard Chartered eighteen months ago wishing for?
"We just want to keep working well together," he says. "When the deal was struck there were a lot of things we didn't know about each other. What really is Liverpool's ethos? We have since discovered we share the same values and beliefs. It's been a great partnership and I couldn't fault anything the club have done so far, they have been fantastic.
"One of the impressive things is that I speak to a number of sponsors of other football clubs and they look at ours with Liverpool and they ask us how we do it. That says everything to me.
"For us as a sponsor we want to continue to give people access they never would have been able to get before. We've taken multi billionaires from the Asian market to Liverpool and they've sat in the director's box. You can't get a cheque book out and buy that.
"Working with some of the club's legendary players - and with Ian Rush in particular who has been with us at the soccer clinics - has been amazing. Rushie has been great, Phil Thompson has helped out, Alan Hansen and Kenny as well. I don't think these guys realise how famous they are some of the time and how much joy they bring to youngsters or older fans who remember them from their playing days.
"We've got a lot out of the first season and a half of this sponsorship and we've now got to check in with the club and make sure they are getting what they want. Ian Ayre (Managing Director) and Graham Bartlett (Commercial Director) at the club have been very receptive to our ideas and they have lots of ideas of their own as well. I think it's working well and I'm already looking forward to 2012."