Diehard lover of 'Beautiful Game'

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 15 November, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 15 November, 2011, 12:00am


'I love football because it is the source of my happiness and wealth'

Peter Wong Hing-kwei

Who's talking football?

Any diehard Hong Kong football fan will certainly know the name of celebrity commentator, Peter Wong Hing-kwei - the city's ebullient and enthusiastic host of all things football.

His name conjures up a unique, tongue-in-cheek commentating style with its train of peculiar, entertaining catchphrases.

Wong, who currently works for ESPN, has a loyal band of followers among Hong Kong television audiences. He helps bring to life even the blandest of matches on our television screens.

Self-made philosopher

Wong has a rare combination of talents: humour, fine articulation and a simmering passion. He stands out among his contemporaries because of his admirable knowledge and clear love of his job.

Educated in the United States, he mixes Western and Asian commentating styles - never forgetting that he is talking to predominantly Cantonese lovers of 'The Beautiful Game'.

He once joked about a penalty: 'There are only two possibilities for penalty: it's either going to go in or not.'

A big fan of good football, he wrote in his sports column before the 2005 Uefa Champions League final, which Liverpool won following a penalty shoot-out: 'I tip Liverpool if I go with my gut feeling, but common sense tells me I should tip AC Milan.'

Not-so-top tips

Wong, 67, is a prolific host of a variety of televised sports, not only football. He also presents shows featuring basketball, American football, horse racing, baseball and boxing. His interests - but not always his talents - often extend to tipping the results of football matches before kick-off; his recent record boasts a less-than-impressive 23wrong predictions out of a possible 33!

However, this is all part of the 'entertaining package' that you get with Wong.

For 12 years, Wong worked as a successful football coach. In 1973, he led the Chan Wai Chow Memorial College team to great success.

His effective training and tactics led to him working with three of Hong Kong's leading football clubs - Eastern, Tsuen Wan and South China. His only disappointing season was in the 1982-83 season, when South China were relegated from the First Division.

He puts his achievements down to remaining true to himself and also always having faith in what he and his players were trying to do.

Beyond the humour

When anyone says that Wong has a natural talent, he shrugs this off, preferring to believe that his success comes from sheer hard work. He says that any success comes from an inherent passion and an undeterred courage to fight for what you set out to do.

Wong says that an open mind is essential when dealing with life's challenges.

'I can't stress how important it is to accept criticism and work on overcoming it,' he says. 'One cannot please everyone, but as an entertainer, I have tried my best to please as many people as possible. Sometimes, it has to do with understanding and learning from the younger generation.'

Corrections, please!

In each of these statements about Wong, there is one error. Change the highlighted word in each to make the sentence correct.

1 Peter Wong is a showbusiness commentator.

2 He is based in London.

3 Wong is famous with international Hong Kong football fans.

4 He always brings a great deal of seriousness into his commentaries.

5 Peter Wong is famous for his witty questions.

6 He supports Chelsea Football Club.

7 Peter is also a hands-on golf enthusiast, having personally coached many teams.

8 He believes that his success is down to sheer hard relaxation not natural talent.


1 sports, 2 Hong Kong, 3 local, 4 humour, 5 catchphrases, 6 Liverpool, 7 football, 8 work.