Celtic new Bhoy Du boosts merchandise sales

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 08 October, 2005, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 08 October, 2005, 12:00am

China international Du Wei has quickly established himself as one of Celtic's favourites since his move from Shanghai Shenhua four weeks ago, according a senior club official.

Celtic commercial director David Thomson said yesterday that Du had become something of a marketing goldmine, boosting sales in jerseys, mugs and other club merchandise and building a strong following in the Chinese community since becoming the first Chinese player to sign for the former European champions.

'Since his arrival at Celtic, we have sold around 3,000 jerseys bearing his name. We are getting 15,000 hits from China alone on our website. This is a big surprise to us,' said Thomson, who was in town yesterday to promote the club.

'Du Wei is settling in quite nicely and is getting accustomed to the food and the environment, which are obviously very different from what he is used to back home. His parents have joined him and will be staying with him until January.'

The 23-year-old defender has his own personal fitness trainer, nutritionist and translator and throngs of Chinese fans have been following his every move at training.

He has so far played three reserve matches, but he is expected to make his full club debut soon, according to Thomson.