Heroic deeds and high drama: The full story of the mission to save 12 Thai boys and their football coach 

It was late afternoon on a humid Saturday in June and Prayuth Jetiyanukorn, the abbot at a temple in Mae Sai, northern Thailand, was angry. 

His concierge, Ekapol Chanthawong, had not returned to finish his shift after his regular coaching session with the ‘Wild Boars’ children’s football team.

But as night fell, the abbot’s anger shifted to worry. Mr Chanthawong, 25, a conscientious and reserved young man, normally left work at this time to take care of his elderly grandmother.

He had still not appeared.

By 8pm, the frantic parents of the team’s players, aged 11-16, began to arrive at the gates of the Phrathat Doi Wao temple. 

“Where are our sons?” they pleaded desperately.

But it would be ten…

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