ManU fans achieve their ticket goal

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 26 June, 2005, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 26 June, 2005, 12:00am

Hundreds of diehard Manchester United fans ended their marathon queuing session outside Hong Kong Stadium yesterday when they finally got tickets to watch their heroes in action next month.

They started lining up outside the stadium on Tuesday for tickets to the English Premier League team's exhibition game against Hong Kong Kitchee on July 23.

About 6,000 tickets had been sold by last night, with each person entitled to four tickets. About 13,000 tickets are still available.

The fans said heavy rain throughout the week had not dampened their determination.

Because of the long queue, organisers started selling tickets at 8.15am, 45 minutes early.

Form Five student So Tak-po, who had queued for almost three days, played soccer, chess and cards with friends while waiting.

The 17-year-old said he was having a long holiday after taking the HKCEE last month.

'If I had not been able to come or all the tickets had been bought, I would have had to buy from scalpers,' said Tak-po, an old hand after queuing for tickets to see Liverpool and Real Madrid. He said he did not care who won, as long as the match was high-scoring.

Kwok Tung, 15, a member of a local soccer club, said she would love to see her idol, Manchester United's right back, Gary Neville.

'He is not very handsome, but his soccer skills are excellent,' the Form Four student said.

She was not on her own during the wait for tickets; about 50 club members had been queuing in shifts since Tuesday.

Apart from filling in time playing games, Tung learned a lesson - next time take mosquito repellent. 'The mosquitoes were quite bad,' the first-time queuer said.

While others spent days in the queue, 74-year-old Ling Soong-pak was confident he would get tickets even though he arrived 30 minutes before ticket sales began.

Past experience had taught him that by showing his senior citizen card, he could join another - much shorter - queue.

He bought two $180 tickets for himself and his 11-year-old grandson.

Ticket sales will continue at Hong Kong Stadium, with prices ranging from $380 to $1,200. A limited number are being offered to students for $180.