Crystal Palace manager Terry Venables with Fan Zhiyi (left) and Sun Jihai. The pair became the first Chinese football players to play professional football in England. Photo: Reuters Crystal Palace manager Terry Venables with Fan Zhiyi (left) and Sun Jihai. The pair became the first Chinese football players to play professional football in England. Photo: Reuters
Crystal Palace manager Terry Venables with Fan Zhiyi (left) and Sun Jihai. The pair became the first Chinese football players to play professional football in England. Photo: Reuters

Fan Zhiyi, Sun Jihai and ‘when 300 million Chinese watched Crystal Palace’

  • First China internationals to play in England were signed by Terry Venables in summer of 1998
  • ‘General Fan’ would go on to become first Chinese player in Scotland while both would take their country to only Fifa World Cup in 2002

Topic |   English Premier League
Crystal Palace manager Terry Venables with Fan Zhiyi (left) and Sun Jihai. The pair became the first Chinese football players to play professional football in England. Photo: Reuters Crystal Palace manager Terry Venables with Fan Zhiyi (left) and Sun Jihai. The pair became the first Chinese football players to play professional football in England. Photo: Reuters
Crystal Palace manager Terry Venables with Fan Zhiyi (left) and Sun Jihai. The pair became the first Chinese football players to play professional football in England. Photo: Reuters
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