‘We’re mad!’ Overseas Fans flock to Hong Kong Stadium to watch their heroes at Asia Trophy
Supporters of Liverpool, Crystal Palace, West Bromwich Albion and Leicester City make their way to So Kon Po to cheer on their teams
Fans have travelled from far away to a packed Hong Kong Stadium for day one of the Premier League Asia Trophy on Wednesday.
Londoners Malcolm Bunn and wife Elaine had come just to see their beloved Crystal Palace, who were in action against Liverpool. “We’re mad,” said Malcolm, who was born minutes away from Selhurst Park. “We’ve always wanted to visit Hong Kong, so this was the perfect opportunity.”
“We got soaked yesterday, and now we’re in long-sleeves in this hot weather. It’s not a good look!” joked Elaine.
As for Palace’s chances? “Honestly, we don’t care. We’re here to enjoy the experience, and if we win something, that’s great. We are a bit of a bogey team for Liverpool, so let’s see what happens.”
The stadium was, at a rough estimate, 90 per cent packed with Liverpool fans, and the merchandise stall was doing a roaring trade.
Hong Kong boys Wolf, Ian and Ken were sporting the new neon orange third kit.
“They haven’t been in Hong Kong for ages, so I had to come,” said Ian.
“We’re going to make this the Hong Kong Anfield,” joked Ken and Ian, fans of the Reds since their Champions League win in 2005.
Diehard Leicester City fans Pete, Richard and Alex flew in from Stockholm and Empingham.
“I’ve been supporting City for more than 40 years, so it’s been a long time coming for that glorious season,” said Pete.
“It’s my first time in Hong Kong, and all I can say is that there’s going to be a lot of subs … look at this weather!”
Another five-strong group of young women supporting Leicester had come from Thailand, where the team – Thai-owned – have had an upsurge in popularity since winning the title the season before last.
Albion fan Chris had arrived from Birmingham with Jack and Dubs to see how The Baggies fare preseason.
“I was here 21 years ago and not been back since. I’ve been an Albion fan since I was a boy, so this is special,” said Chris.
“The future is good. We’re half-decent in the Premier League – not yo-yoing up and down anymore – now we need to spend money to get to the next level. I’d like to see how Jay Rodriguez does if he plays,” he added.