Happy Valley goalkeeper Fan Chun-yip experienced contrasting fortunes in the space of two nights as he was crowned Hong Kong Footballer of the Year in a glittering awards ceremony last night. Less than 24 hours after standing in the pouring rain, helpless to stop Kuwait from winning 2-0 in a World Cup qualifying match at Siu Sai Wan Stadium, the 28-year-old Hong Kong international keeper was all suited up at Kowloon-Shangrila Hotel to collect his biggest award. 'It sure beats standing in the pouring rain and losing a major game,'' said Fan after winning the award, worth $40,000 to the winner, and celebrating its 27th year. 'Fan picked up three match awards last night - he also was selected as one of 11 local football stars as well as being voted Hong Kong's most popular player - as he shared the stage with local celebrities, guests and even several local Canto pop artists. But Fan took centre stage as he won the awards on probably the most glittering night of local football for it was the 90th anniversary of the Hong Kong Football Association. The gala event was attended by a list of Who's Who of local football, who helped celebrate the significance of the event despite Hong Kong soccer suffering dwindling crowd attendances during the past eight or nine seasons. It was also fitting that Fan received the main prize from two other Hong Kong heroes - Olympic table tennis silver medallists, Li Ching and Ko Lai-chak, in the highlight of the evening. 'I didn't expect to pick up three awards,'' said Fan, who said the awards highlighted his 10 years as a professional player. 'I really expected my teammate Lee Wai-man to scoop the main footballer of the year honours. When they announced my name, I was a bit surprised. Maybe the reason why I was picked was because I had played so many games for both club and for Hong Kong. These awards give me the confidence to perform even better,'' he said. 'Obviously, I am happy to get these awards. I started playing professionally in 1994, but this is the first time that I have won anything like this,'' said the keeper, who is best remembered for playing a blinder of a game during last year's high-profile exhibition match against Real Madrid, who won 4-2. 'I am also pleased to win these awards because I was feeling miserable when Hong Kong lost to Kuwait. The rain was pouring so hard, I thought the most sensible thing to do was to abandon the match. 'I hope I can maintain my standard and win more trophies for my club, Happy Valley. We won the Senior Shield and the FA Cup last season. I hope we can go on to regain the league title as well,'' said Fan.