New stadium christened with cocktails

IT might well be the only time we will ever see their ilk at the new Hong Kong Stadium, but when it was officially opened by Governor Chris Patten, many of the socialites were present and correct to take in the marching bands, the dancing girls and the capering lasers.

But long before the action in the middle, there was a lot of grinning and gripping to be undergone at the various cocktail parties that were taking place in the hospitality wings dotted about the place.

As the invitees sprinted from one hospitality suite to another they were hurriedly exchanging intelligence on where the best grub was on offer. Among those spotted were Wembley International chairman Sir Brian Wolfson, who had flown in for the ceremony from London, together with his two local henchman Robin Oram and Alan Murray looking relieved that everything was going to plan - or very nearly.