Gems of football history to be showcased in HK

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 27 May, 2006, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 27 May, 2006, 12:00am

Hong Kong soccer fans need not fly to England for a glimpse of the medal and match ball from the first World Cup final, George Best's boots or Ronaldinho's autographed shirts. These precious artefacts will be exhibited at the Hong Kong Museum of History from next month.

To push the World Cup mania to a new high, the $3 million exhibition will showcase more than 100 rare items from the National Football Museum in England, as well as some 40 representative trophies and items related to local soccer history.

The museum's chief curator, Joseph Ting Sun-pao, said the exhibition has been planned since 2004 and will be the largest in Asia.

It will cover nine areas from the early origins of soccer, the World Cup's emergence, various football legends to the development of match rules. It will also include a section on local football history. 'We understand that Hong Kong people are big fans of soccer, so am I,' the chief curator said.

'Through the exhibition, we also hope the audience will reminisce about the glamorous football history in Hong Kong, which is a collective memory for many of us,' he said, adding that he was planning to invite local football legends to give speeches.

The exhibition will tell the history of Fifa (the Federation Internationale de Football Association) which was established in 1904. Highlights include a World Cup winner's medal from 1966, the year England won, a Jules Rimet trophy replica and the European Super Cup, and shirts with autographs of superstars such as Franz Beckenbauer, David Beckham and Michael Owen.

Local items, such as the trophies from the 1923 Hong Kong-Shanghai interport competition and the 1957 Merdeka tournament, will also be on show.

But the only exhibit that visitors will be allowed to photograph is a two-metre-tall model of David Beckham's right foot - which was a gift to wish the England player a quick recovery from injury before the last World Cup.

The museum will also organise lectures on soccer development in Hong Kong, workshops, game stalls and a lucky draw. The exhibition will run from June 21 to September 18 with an admission fee of $20 or $10. For details, visit