Author: hkradmin

Spotlight: Gaz Chance

First Class Gaz

Trail(blaz)ing Gaz Chance tells us about Trainspotting toilets, tat tat tat and tent trauma…

Personal

Tell us about your background.
I was born and raised in a small village called Wolverley on the outskirts of Kidderminster, Worcestershire, where I went to school, lived and worked until my wife Kelly got a job here in Hong Kong.

When did you move to Hong Kong?
February 2018.

What do you do for a living?
I used to manage a builder’s merchants in the UK until my wife brought me to Hong Kong. I’m what’s called a trailing spouse, and I haven’t worked at all. It’s been an amazing 18 months – I highly recommend it.

Favourite place in Hong Kong? Why?
Apart from The Lockhart 88 on a match day, Soho Corner on Staunton Street. A great place for people watching, even though the toilet is like the one out of Trainspotting.

Worst place in Hong Kong? Why?
The Ladies’ Market! Full of tat, tat and more tat!

Hobbies?
Watching football, cricket and Netflix. Also, enjoy hiking when the weather is not unbearable.

Liverpool/Supporters Club

How long have you been supporting Liverpool?
For as long as I can remember. My oldest proper memory was watching the 1988 FA Cup Final versus Wimbledon and switching channels back and forth between ITV and BBC to see if the score was different on another channel. Still can’t believe we lost that game.

What was the first game you attended?
I was a bit late to the party on this one. It was actually an away game in 1999 at Elland Road – the match where Michael Owen first tore his hamstring after about 25 minutes. It finished 0-0, which is probably a good thing as I was with the home fans, so didn’t have to celebrate anything in silence.

How will Liverpool’s season finish?
Well, I don’t want to jinx it so…hopefully with another European Cup final in Istanbul, but domestically it definitely finishes away to Newcastle!

Favourite ever Liverpool goal?
Probably Gerrard’s FA Cup Final goal against West Ham in 2006, but he did score so many great goals.

Heroes?
Steven Gerrard or Sir King Kenny. I actually cried when Dalglish resigned in 1991 – I must have known we wouldn’t be the same team after he left. Until now of course.

Villains?
Alex Ferguson

Fondest football memory?
The Italia 90 World Cup, which is when I first seriously got the football bug. I had a VHS tape of all the goals and watched it hundreds of times. Still don’t think there has been a better World Cup since.

Favourite current Liverpool player?
Big Virg. We have been a different team since he arrived.

Favourite past Liverpool player?
It’s got to be Gerrard. Also have a soft spot for John Barnes as he was my first favourite LFC player.

Favourite non-Liverpool player?
I know he gives us some stick on TV now he’s a pundit, but Matt Le Tissier scored some absolute worldies. Google them, I just have – they’re brilliant!

Worst player ever to play for Liverpool?
We have had some poor players in our time, but El Hadji Diouf has got to be the vilest player ever to wear the shirt.

How did you find out about the Hong Kong Reds?
Me and the wife were drinking in Soho, and randomly got talking to an existing member. We discovered we both supported Liverpool. He then told me about the Supporters Club and said I should come down for a game. It was a few weeks before I did but loved it and signed up straight away.

What does the Supporters Club mean to you?
Being able to watch the games in a great environment with great people is something I look forward to every week – which is why I hate the international breaks even more now I am in Hong Kong.

What’s the best part about being an LFC fan?
We never seem to know when we’re beat, especially lately. And now we have the best manager in the world in Jurgen Klopp.

What’s the worst part about being an LFC fan?
The stick we get from opposing fans of most other clubs. For example, the day after Gerrard’s slip against Chelsea, following the worst night’s sleep I have ever had, I had to drive two hours for a meeting at Head Office to have to sit there with an Everton fan, a United fan and a City fan – a genuinely horrible experience.

Why is The Lockhart 88 a good venue for the Supporters Club?
It’s a great spot. You can stand inside or outside and still get a good view of the game.

How does it feel watching games so late at night, especially mid-week games?
They can be the best, especially when you don’t have work the next day. It also attracts a smaller crowd which is when you get to know some of the members better than you would on a busier game night.

All-time favourite LFC moment?
I think it’s got to be Istanbul. It still makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand up to this day.

Favourite Supporters Club moment?
Probably the second leg against Barcelona last season. I did not expect a comeback as easy as that. Also, all the last-minute winners we are getting at the moment seem pretty special as well.

The Important Stuff

What’s your favourite TV show?
There are probably a few to be honest. Breaking Bad was awesome, but The Thick Of It and The Office are right up there as well.

Cheese or chocolate?
Cheese when drunk, chocolate when sober.

What would you like to chuck into Room 101?
El Hadji Diouf superglued to Alex Ferguson. They would probably annoy the shit out of each other as well – win win!!

What’s the stupidest thing you’ve ever done while drunk?
Falling drunkenly unconscious after a game in Wan Chai with a bag full of kebabs. Luckily, I was with a responsible adult (thanks Helen Chan) who fortunately had my wife’s phone number and called her to come and collect me as Helen couldn’t wake me up. I just wish I could remember seeing my wife walking through Wan Chai at 6am on a Monday morning in her PJs.

What’s your most embarrassing moment?
Crawling into what I genuinely thought was my tent at the Reading festival, only to be woken up a while after by the actual owner of the tent who was not very amused. Unlike all my mates, who heard the commotion and were absolutely pissing themselves.

Spotlight: Jenny Reynolds

Jenny in Peak form

Jenny Reynolds tells us about loving Litmanen, toilet exposure and garden-hoe burglary…

Personal

Tell us about your background.
I was born and grew up in Liverpool as the middle daughter in a football-mad family. In 2017, I decided I’d had enough of my job in research so decided to move to Berlin, where I took my English teaching qualifications. After a few months pondering what I wanted to do next, a teaching job in Hong Kong came up – it was a no-brainer.

When did you move to Hong Kong?
I moved here in August 2018.

What do you do for a living?
I’m a private English tutor, which is good because I get to teach all ages, all over Hong Kong. I’m writing this just before a lesson, sitting on a bench in South Bay on a beautiful sunny morning.

Ideal holiday?
Without a doubt, a long weekend in Madrid. One of my sisters used to live there and through visiting her and trips back since, I must have been about 10 times now. It has everything you’d want in a city – good food and drink, great nightlife, interesting people, beautiful architecture and parks, and a cider house that sells the best chicken in the West.

Hobbies
Hand me an iPhone, and I think I’m Mario Testino. Hong Kong is such a mashup of everything and is a really interesting place to photograph.

Liverpool/Supporters Club

How long have you been supporting Liverpool?
It’s hard to remember a time when I didn’t. I think my earliest memory of being an “active” supporter was going to Melwood to see the players when I was about five. My sister and I got all of the players’ autographs in a little autograph book we got free with the Match magazine. We still have it somewhere.

What was the first game you attended?
I needed help remembering this so messaged my dad to check. His exact response was: “West Ham when Titi Camara scored the winner the day his dad died. Why?” – quite impressive for a man who can’t remember my age!

How will Liverpool’s season finish?
Now I don’t want to jinx things, but I’d be surprised if we didn’t make the top 4.

Favourite ever Liverpool goal?
Smicer’s goal in Istanbul. Not the prettiest of goals, but I can still remember exactly how I felt when it went in. His look of joy/disbelief perfectly summed it up. I think it was the moment when we all realistically started thinking “We can do this!”.

Favourite current Liverpool player?
Bobby – so special and unique in every single way. He’s a joy to have in our team.

Favourite past Liverpool player?
Xabi Alonso was mesmerising at times, especially alongside Gerrard. I loved watching Jari Litmanen in the games he played for us too, and I’ve always had a soft spot for Gary McAllister.

How did you find out about the Hong Kong Reds?
Google – it was one of the first things I researched when I found out I was moving to Hong Kong. It took me a while to pluck up the courage to start coming to matches though, but I’m so glad I did!

What does the Supporters’ Club mean to you?
Having moved so far away from home to a place where I didn’t know anyone, I feel really lucky to have found such a lovely bunch, who not only love Liverpool but are also really decent people. It helps that we all like beer too.

What’s the best part about being an LFC fan?
Feeling that you’re part of something special. And having that ingrained sense that we’re capable of absolutely anything.

What’s the worst part about being an LFC fan?
In the time that I’ve been watching football, the number of times we’ve come so close to winning things, especially the league, but ultimately haven’t. And the almost-Shakespearean ways we’ve missed out, Gerrard vs Chelsea in 2013/14 being a prime example – although maybe that’s part of the poetry.

Why is The Lockhart 88 a good venue for the Supporters’ Club?
In a couple of words – the staff. They really go above and beyond for us every single match.

How does it feel watching games so late at night, especially mid-week games?
I think knowing we’ll all be in the same state for work the next day really lends itself to a sense of camaraderie.

All-time favourite LFC moment?
Being stood on St George’s Plateau in Liverpool for the homecoming in 2005 – I’ve never experienced an atmosphere like it, and doubt I ever will again. A close second is the time my dad walked square into the window of the club shop at Anfield thinking it was an automatic door.

Favourite Supporters Club moment?
Obviously winning the Champions League in June was a pretty special night, but I’d go for the Barcelona second leg, when just a handful of us thought “Ah well, we’ve got nothing to lose” and showed up in the early hours of a Wednesday morning to watch one of the greatest comebacks in history.

The Important Stuff

What was the last album you listened to?
Carry On by Willy Mason.

What was your worst haircut?
I can’t think of words to describe it so…


What phrase or word do you hate?
Anything you’d hear on The Apprentice that’s made its way into real life. I also specifically don’t like the way Chris Tarrant used to pronounce any county with “-shire” in its name on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire – it still bothers me now.

What’s the stupidest thing you’ve ever done while drunk?
When I was younger, locking myself out of the house after a night out when my parents and sisters were away. As luck would have it, someone had left a wooden pallet in the front, which I used as a makeshift stepladder to climb our side gate. Then I used a garden hoe to prise open the back door. Drunk enough for that all to seem like a reasonable course of action, but sober enough not to die scaling a seven-foot-high fence in platform heels.

What’s your most embarrassing moment?
A very traumatic incident in Copenhagen, when I was using the (unisex) toilets in a very cool, hipster café.
I couldn’t work the lock on the cubicle door so asked my sister to stand outside and prevent anyone from trying to open it.
The cubicle was very small, and there was just enough room to sit on the loo with your knees grazing the door, which opened outwards. I didn’t want to knock the door open mid-wee so figured it would be a sensible idea to sit sideways, just this once . At some point during my wee, my (former) sister abandoned door duties to fix her hair in the mirror.
Everything went in slow motion as the door swung away from me to reveal half of the British stag party that had been sat on the next table, all staring aghast at me sitting side-saddle on a pull-chain toilet. The lad who’d opened the door was mortified and it took a good four or five seconds of us all staring at each other horrified before he could react and close the door. None of them even laughed.

What do you do in the mornings before work?
Lately, I’ve been listening to loads of podcasts. Aside from football-related ones, I’ve really been enjoying 99% Invisible, which is about architecture, design and technology in the broadest sense (so there’s something for everyone). I’d also recommend Ed Miliband’s Reasons to Be Cheerful for anyone who needs a pick-me-up from what’s going on politically at the moment.

Spotlight: Stu Farr

Stu with his sons Zach and Alex

Stu Farr tells us about being proposed to in KFC, less-than-sober sex-toy Santa and shafting his way to £120,000. Jim Beglin, look away now…

Personal

Tell us about your background.
Born in Macclesfield but spent most of my youth in North Wales having the world pass me by. Moved to the bright lights of London as soon as I was able, then Hong Kong 10 years later.

From a sporting sense I’ve always had a duality in my life – my Dad and his family are all die-hard Manchester United fans and my Mum’s family are all proper Reds. My brothers also consider themselves Welsh whereas I’m an Englishman so that adds some fun to proceedings!

When did you move to Hong Kong?
Same as a lot of people I moved here for two years. That was in 2009 and whilst I can’t say I’ll stay forever I can say I never want to leave.

What do you do for a living?
I’ve always been in sales, currently working in the IT industry advising on customer experience solutions.

Best part of your job?
I get to meet a lot of interesting people and they pay my bar tab indirectly!

Worst part of your job?
I often have to run meetings so late Sunday games and Champions League becomes a struggle. Always resent having to work when I’ve missed the Reds playing a blinder!

Significant others? How did you meet?
I met my wife at school when we were both 12. We’ve always been friends, although we were never childhood sweethearts. We got together years later, and she proposed to me in KFC in Llandudno. I think she meant it as a joke, but we’ve been happily married for 17 years this past August. Her major flaw is not giving two shits about football.

Favourite HK bar/club? Why?
As a previous resident of Discovery Bay it has to be Beer Bay at Central Ferry Pier 3. Not only is it a lovely spot for a beer on a sunny day, there’s space for my kids to run around so I can drink said beer in peace and, if I’m on a mission, they sell gin and tonic by the pint. Great place to start, or end, a night.

Favourite place in HK? Why?
The best thing about Hong Kong for me is the juxtaposition between nature and metropolis, so anywhere where I can be in the city whilst being surrounded by greenery. I love walking up the Peak, Jardine’s Lookout, or up to the top of Lion Rock on Kowloon side where I can be in the country but have the world’s greatest city sprawling out in front of me. I love the vibrancy of living in Hong Kong, but it’s glorious to be able to step back and put one foot into the countryside without having to leave the buzz behind entirely.

Worst place in Hong Kong? Why?
Admiralty. It’s just soulless and within a short walk I could be somewhere good. Only head there when I’m forced to.

Ambitions?
Too cheesy to say I want to watch us win the league after all these years? Last time we did it I was 10, and I reacted to the news with a smile and a shrug because that’s Liverpool did back then – we won leagues. So, I knew we’d probably win it again next year so it was no big deal. I was more annoyed that we lost the FA Cup semi final to Palace as we’d have played United in the final and I wanted to see us smash them.

When we finally win it again I plan to spend a lot of time drunk. Probably with the people reading this.

Hobbies?
Since having kids my only hobby is watching sport as I don’t have time for anything else! Most of that is dedicated to watching Liverpool, though I’m also partial to watching rugby union (not league, that’s shit), American football and cricket.

Liverpool/Supporters Club

How long have you been supporting Liverpool?
I’ve been supporting Liverpool since I was six years old. I remember the class bully telling us all we had to support Everton or he would beat us up. I went home and told my mum this as I was a bit confused – I had no idea really about Everton, or football in general. All I knew was this kid was an arsehole and I didn’t want to do as he said. Luckily my grandad was visiting and he sat me down and told me all I needed to know about being a Red. He was a Scouser born and bred and knew better than to condemn his grandson to a life of bluenosery. He told me stories of dominating England, taking on all Europe had to offer and how he played with Billy Liddell in his regiment team during the war. I still had no idea about football afterwards (some may say I still don’t), but I knew I wanted to be a part of this story.

I’m sure my Manchester United supporting Dad thought it would be a phase, but I’ve never wavered since that day. I’m taking no such chances with my kids and have been passing those stories down to my boys since they could crawl.

What was the first game you attended?
My dad took me to my first game at Anfield under sufferance when I was 12 against Wimbledon. We sat in the Anfield Road end and watched Wimbledon go 2-0 up after Grobbelaar went wandering into no mans land and got lobbed right in front of us. The Reds stormed back to level up at 2-2 before half time and I was convinced that there was only going to be one winner. And there was, it was Wimbledon as they won 3-2.

Despite the result I fell in love with the Anfield atmosphere, it felt like hallowed ground and I knew I wanted more of it.

How will Liverpool’s season finish?
I say every year we’re going to win the league. Sometimes I even believe it. But usually I have to talk myself into why this year will be the one we finally get there. This season, I don’t need to talk myself into anything. This team is amazing – we have the world’s best keeper, centre half, two of the world’s best fullbacks, a front three that makes any defence lose sleep and oh, we’ve not mentioned Gini, Fabinho and Henderson yet.

If we don’t win it then City will have played another blinder of the season and hats off to them. But unless they are perfect, the title is ours.

Favourite ever Liverpool goal?
Jermaine Pennant against Chelsea in 2007. It was Cech’s first game back after his head injury so he was debuting his headgear. I was sat in the Kop and from where I was sat the instant it touched Pennant’s boot I knew it was in. The buzz after that game was electric, we knew we were going places.

Honourable mention to Neil Mellor’s late winner against Arsenal. It was my birthday, I was in a pub in London and the guy next to me just smashed his full pint on the floor in disgust. Loved it.

Heroes?
I’ve always had a thing for players that come from abroad and just get what we’re about. So for me I’ll always have a place in my heart for Torres, despite how it ended. We asked him to play for Roy Hodgson, for God’s sake – who could deal with that?! Plus he had the best song ever – we should sing it more for a laugh!

Villains?
Hicks and Gillett. I was once lucky enough to spend some time with Martin Broughton during an event and he explained just how close we were to becoming insolvent under those two cowboys. The idea of Liverpool disappearing down the league under a cloud of points penalties and lack of finance makes me shudder even today. FSG may not be perfect, but compared to those two charlatans I think we’ve landed on our feet.

Fondest football memory?
Benjamin Massing absolutely levelling Caniggia in the opening game of the 1990 World Cup. One of the most chaotic fouls in the history of football and still makes me smile thinking about it now.

From a Liverpool point of view, Origi scoring past dinosaur arms against Everton last year after they let off a flare will take some beating. I love a bit of needle.

What football law would you change?
I’d hand control of VAR to the managers in the form of challenges rather than the shitshow we have now. That way, if a team waste their challenges and are then on the end of a shocker they have no-one to blame but themselves. The current system is far to obsessed with calculating hair’s breadth offsides and not with actually overturning blatant errors.

Favourite current Liverpool player?
Virgil. I just love how cool he is and how he makes everyone else on the pitch better, even when he’s playing badly.

Favourite past Liverpool player?
I know it’s a cliché, but it has to be Gerrard. All my other favourites over the years have left us as some point, Stevie only did because the club wouldn’t keep him on. The epitome of a home town captain.

Favourite non-Liverpool player?
Always loved watching Thierry Henry; he could just create something from nothing. He always seemed to play well against us and the ball seemed magnetically attached to his foot at times.

Worst player ever to play for Liverpool?
Nowhere near the worst, but no player has had me shouting profanities at the TV like Milan Baros and his head-down runs to nowhere. Great skill, but the footballing intelligence of a concrete bollard.

How did you find out about the Hong Kong Reds?
Shit answer, but I can’t remember to be honest!

What does the Supporters Club mean to you?
Without a good group of people to enjoy the game with, it is just 22 men kicking a ball around. Yes, we all sometimes watch alone but it’s never optimal – supporting a team is a social pursuit and without the Supporters Club I don’t think I’d have enjoyed watching Liverpool anywhere near as much over the past decade.

I’ve followed Liverpool all over Europe, been to League Cup, FA Cup and European Cup finals and yet one of my favourite Liverpool games was the pre-season friendly in Hong Kong against Leicester in 2017 because we went as a Supporters Club. Don’t remember anything about the game, but do remember the singing and cheering and the fun I had just being there. Same thing as The Lockhart 88 – sometimes the best games are the ones where we’ve won by half time and just have a natter.

What’s the best part about being an LFC fan?
We don’t do anything the easy way do we? Liverpool is all about being counted out, the last minute winner, coming back from 3-0 down to win. No other team goes through the rollercoaster ride we do and comes out on top as often as we do. Other teams may win trophies, but nobody writes stories and builds legends like Liverpool FC.

What’s the worst part about being an LFC fan?
The other side of that coin – we always have hope. So when we don’t make the impossible possible there’s a feeling of emptiness that rational thought can’t fill. We have high expectations because of who we are, but sometimes they’re not realistic and we are disappointed when they aren’t met.

Why is The Lockhart 88 a good venue for the Supporters’ Club?
Mainly because the right people come, but to be honest it’s perfect for us. It’s the right size so we can own the space without rattling around on quiet nights, the beer is good and reasonably priced and we can watch the game from outside if we want. If only they’d let kids in…

How does it feel watching games so late at night, especially mid-week games?
I’ve got used to it to be honest, but in many ways it’s a blessing. Having two young kids means that I just wouldn’t be able to watch as many games if I was still in the UK, so having them late means I can still hang out with my boys during the day, have dinner with my wife then head off out after she goes to bed! The midweek games are a bit more challenging, mainly because I can’t come to watch in the pub and not drink and if I have meetings in the morning that rules me out. But when I can, I love the atmosphere those early games have.

What’s different about a HK-based LFC supporter?
Not a lot to be honest. We’re a group of people brought together by a love of a team mere yards, tens, hundreds or thousands of miles away. Whether you’re in Hong Kong, Hanoi, Hull or Huyton – we’re all Reds.

However, if you were in Hull or Huyton you wouldn’t have to put up with the dulcet tones of Jim Beglin on commentary, so I suppose that’s different…

All-time favourite LFC moment?
This is like asking who’s your favourite kid! Probably the 2013/14 run in – it felt like we were walking on air and nothing could go wrong, until it did. But what a laugh we had along the way.

Ask me again this time next year and I’ll say coasting to the 19/20 title.

Favourite Supporters Club moment?
Failing spectacularly in a boat race at Amici and getting the piss taken out of me for weeks – I kept telling everyone I had an off night. A few months later I was back and nailed a four way race like a fucking boss – hope Paul still has the footage.

The Important Stuff

What’s your favourite food?
I love food in general unless it has cauliflower in it, but if forced to pick one it would be good pizza in a wood-fired oven.

What would you like to chuck into Room 101?
Jim Beglin. Headfirst, with some form of concrete in afterwards to stop him escaping.

What’s in your pockets?
Only ever wallet, keys, phone and headphones.

Do you have any superstitions?
I hold my breath when the Reds get a penalty from the moment the player places the ball to the moment it goes in (or doesn’t).

Are you allergic to anything?
Oranges, caffeine and chocolate. Hence why I’m picky about the free shots sometimes!!!

What’s the best thing you’ve ever won?
I once won GBP120,000 on a quiz show hosted by Robert Kilroy-Silk. I had to be a right bastard to win as well, but luckily it was never shown on TV so I got away scot free! Yes, I still have a copy.

What’s your most embarrassing moment?
When I fell into a pop-up stall selling sex toys in a bar in Central, dressed as Santa Claus whilst on a charity pub crawl. My wife was present, pregnant, sober and not amused. I was obviously wasted and made a complete twat of myself. I was hurried out of the club whereupon my wife took me to Tsui Wah to get noodles, which I couldn’t eat because I was too drunk. I then wandered off and slept on a bag of concrete in an alleyway because I couldn’t remember where I lived. Happy days.

Most visited website?
Probably The Guardian. I’m a liberal at heart so I’m looking for confirmation bias.

Yoga or pilates?
Seriously, do I look like somebody who does either?!?

What time do you wake up?
Whenever my darling kids decide I should be awake. If I’m lucky, it won’t be dark.

Full English breakfast or Dim Sum?
Full English, no contest. I don’t normally eat breakfast at all, but if I’m going to do it I want a proper fry up. Dim sum is more of a lunch thing for me.

Spotlight: Chad Pheasant

Chad with Number 6!

2018-19 Supporter Of The Year Chad Pheasant tells us about shaping the minds of the young, being a muppet and mocking the afflicted…

Personal

Tell us about your background.
I was born in Reading in 1970 and lived in Southampton from aged 6 to 19. I told my parents that my roots were in Liverpool when I was very young and that I was going to move to Liverpool as soon as I could. I managed to achieve this aim at the tender age of 19 when I moved to Liverpool as a student. Once I finished my degree and PGCE, I started my career teaching in Huyton and stayed in Liverpool until I moved to Hong Kong.

When did you move to Hong Kong?
I moved to Hong Kong at the age of 29 in 1999. I have lived here ever since, after telling everybody I was here for two years and would see how it goes. I knew within about 2-3 weeks that I would be here longer than that!

What do you do for a living?
I am a Vice Principal at Beacon Hill School, one of the ESF schools, in Kowloon Tong

Best part of your job?
Being able to shape the minds of the future generation, and by that I mean being able to persuade the children that Liverpool are the best football team. Also, it’s always good to walk around on the playground, smiling, when we’ve just beaten a team that I know a lot of the children support.

Worst part of your job?
Having to walk around the playground, smiling, when we’ve not beaten that team that I know a lot of the children support.

Favourite place in HK? Why?
My favourite place in HK is The Lockhart 88 after we’ve won a game. The atmosphere can’t be beaten for a packed game and the drinks keep flowing after the game.

Liverpool/Supporters Club

How long have you been supporting Liverpool?
I don’t remember a time when I didn’t support Liverpool. My Mum tells me that she knew I was a Liverpool fan from a very young age when I would sit, transfixed in front of the telly when the team in Red were playing. Luckily, I had enough sense to know which was the right team in red to be transfixed by!

What was the first game you attended?
Admittedly, I had to look this up, but I’m pleased to say that my memory has served me well. 7th May 1977, and I was in London, visiting my Nan, when my Dad told me he was taking me to my first game. He is a Fulham fan, and told me we were going to see Fulham play Leyton Orient, but I was just happy to be going to the match with my Dad. I duly ran alongside my Dad as I tried to keep up, asking him loads of questions about Fulham, as I didn’t know any of their players or anything; to me they were Accrington Stanley! He kept calm despite this and was rewarded with seeing my face light up as it gradually dawned on me that I was going to watch Liverpool play QPR. Watched us draw 1-1. Was hooked with it all. My Dad was less impressed as we looked across the pitch to see the half time scores at the letters with scores underneath them and he found out that Fulham were 5-0 up at half time! He explained to me, through his clenched teeth and tears, that he’d never seen Fulham score 5 goals in a single match. They eventually went on to win 6-1 and I’m not sure he’s ever forgiven me since!

How will Liverpool’s season finish?
Hopefully with one point more than anyone else in the league.

Favourite ever Liverpool goal?
Far too many to mention. Any of King Kenny’s goals as he was my absolute hero growing up. Honourable mention to Terry Mac’s header against Spurs in the 7-0 rout of a team who had 2 foreign World Cup winners in their team. I remember being really scared that Spurs were going to batter us because they had the 2 Argentinian world beaters in their team! That’s when I truly realised we were the best in the world!!

Fondest football memory?
Hard to pick, but from my time in Hong Kong it has to be watching the 2005 Istanbul final. I stayed at home as I had a two month old to help look after and watched the first half on one couch and the second half on a different couch. Needless to say, I got rid of the couch from the first half as soon as possible after. Such lows to such highs in a game. I remember having to answer the phone to UK friends and family who were all asking how long I was gong to stay out and carry on drinking for and I was explaining to them that I was late for work and had to run. Time difference obviously difficult for some people to cope with!
Beating Barcelona in the Champions League at Anfield last season is a close second.

What football law would you change?
I would change the rule that says a ball that is 1.1cm from being over the line doesn’t count as a goal.

Favourite current Liverpool player?
Tough call as the current team are all brilliant as a team unit. If forced to choose I would go for Trent Alexander-Arnold. Love how he has such an eye for a ball into the danger area time and time again. Also, that corner…

Favourite past Liverpool player?
Again, far too many to mention. King Kenny, along with Ian Rush – what a partnership! More recently Xabi Alonso and Stevie G with their range of passing and shooting. I could go on for hours about others too!

Worst player ever to play for Liverpool?
Sean Dundee, although I don’t hate him as much as I hate El Hadji Diouf. A classless man, with shite talent, and mouths off far too much.

How did you find out about the Hong Kong Reds?
I was introduced to the delights of the Hong Kong Reds through a friend, Mark Davies, who brought me along to Amici a while back. I was hooked from the moment I walked in with the flags on the wall and the buzz. And we didn’t have that good a team then either!! Soon started to enjoy our roles as the Statler and Waldorf characters and saw it as a success if Ian told us to f*** off when giving out answers at the end of raffles!

What does the Supporters’ Club mean to you?
The highlight of the week. Watching the best team, surrounded by such a great group of fans who enjoy a drink or two as much as I do. I genuinely love watching the games and the humour that is part of it all. Not sure I’ll be able to carry on doing the Stupid O’Clock kick offs again this season, though. It nearly killed me last season!

What’s the best part about being an LFC fan?
The highs that they have given me over the years. Some of my best memories, with friends and family, involve Liverpool winning games and trophies.

What’s the worst part about being an LFC fan?
Having to deal with the lows. The lows can be tough to deal with!

Why is The Lockhart 88 a good venue for the Supporters’ Club?
The Lockhart 88 is great because it’s a venue that suits us and works with us to make sure we have a good night. Since the Amici days it has been my favourite bar that we have used. The videos from after the Champion’s League final last year of everyone on the street outside singing Allez! Allez! Allez! I will never tire of watching.

How does it feel watching games so late at night, especially mid-week games?
It depends on the result! It can be tough getting up in the middle of the night and making my way down to the game, knowing I’m not going to be drinking and will have to head to work straight after the end of the game. The double stamps help!

What’s different about a HK-based LFC supporter?
I’ve been watching in Hong Kong now for so long it has become normal to be able to watch all the games, if I can manage to stay up, without missing a single minute. Gone are the days of heading down the road to the snooker club to watch the illegal TV feed from Norway, alongside the City FM or Radio City commentary, which was always out of sync.

All-time favourite LFC moment?
Istanbul was amazing. As a child I loved watching the European Cup finals from 1977 onwards. It has become a family tradition for my Dad to take me to KFC (or Kentucky Fried Chicken as it was then!) after the game to celebrate. It’s something that we still share, and he took me to KFC this summer to keep the tradition alive.

Favourite Supporters Club moment?
The moment that Ian was shot by a sniper and tore his achilles when we scored against Spurs in injury time was funny at the time. Was less so when we found out how serious the injury was! Does still make me laugh how he’s still claiming it as a football injury though!
I also loved it when I brought my son Adam to watch a game with us after Clockenflap. Everyone made sure he felt welcome and he turned to me after the game and said he completely got why I was always talking about going to watch the game with the supporters club. He loved the irreverent banter (although I hate that word!) and all the singing that we were doing too. He said it was like going to the match itself for him.

The Important Stuff

If someone were to make a movie of your life, who should play you?
Geoff Paine. I’ve spent my life, from about 18 onwards, being told how much he looks like me. Look him up for those of you who don’t have a clue who he is!

Have you ever drunk so much that you’ve forgotten your name?
Yes, but I do know I have always managed to find my way home!

What was your worst haircut?
My long haired combed over casual look from the mid 80s. I was young and stupid. Now I’m just old and stupid, but wouldn’t be seen dead with that haircut.

What’s the best thing you’ve ever won?
The Liverpool FC Official Supporters Club Supporter Of The Year trophy. Will be so good not to hear Helen say “as reigning champion…” this year!!

Spotlight: Helen Chan

Helen with the Liverpool Legends in 2017

2017-18 Supporter Of The Year Helen Chan tells us about Ian Rush as a Chinese dishwasher, playing dead to children and ruining the 2018 Champions League final for Reds everywhere…

Personal

Tell us about your background.

I was born and brought up in North Wales. I became an unofficial Liverpool supporter when I was about 4 years old, after my brother used to beat me up until I said I supported Liverpool!

Fun fact – many moons ago, Ian Rush worked in a Chinese Restaurant in Chester with my dad during one of his summer holidays.

When did you move to Hong Kong?
I moved to Hong Kong in the summer of 2007 “for a couple of years”. Twelve years later and I’m still here!

What do you do for a living?
I’m an English teacher.

Favourite HK bar/club? Why?
I’m a Soho bar girl for the friendly neighbourhood bars, like Cheers, but always end up in Wan Chai afterwards – love live bands!!

Hobbies?
Netflix and reading

Liverpool/Supporters Club

How long have you been supporting Liverpool?

Unofficially since I was 4 years old, but properly supporting and following them since 2005.

What was the first game you attended?
When they came to HK in 2007.

How will Liverpool’s season finish?
Absolutely gutted we just missed out on the top spot last season. 1 point. 1 point!!! I have faith in us achieving it this season. C’mon Liverpool!!!

Favourite ever Liverpool goal?
Right now, I have to say the Origi goal against Barcelona (from the Trent corner). I must have seen that a hundred times now!! And it still brings tears to my eyes!

Fondest football memory?
Winning the 6th CL. So many tears that night. The celebrations we had went on for hours. And this is at 7am in HK! I couldn’t speak for about 3 days after.

Favourite current Liverpool player?
The Egyptian King himself. I saw him play in HK, when we won the Premier League Asia Trophy. I vividly remember saying he was amazing and that he was going to be special. How right I was!

Favourite past Liverpool player?
I have a big soft spot for Coutinho…

How did you find out about the Hong Kong Reds?
My brother took me along to watch Liverpool play in HK, where I met a lot of the key members of the Supporters Club.

What does the Supporters Club mean to you?
It’s great to meet up with like-minded, loyal supporters.

What’s the best part about being an LFC fan?
Supporting a club with such an amazing history and we have the best fans all over the world.

What’s the worst part about being an LFC fan?
So many highs and lows. I’m always crying!

Why is The Lockhart 88 a good venue for the Supporters Club?
The atmosphere has been amazing. I’m guaranteed to lose my voice the next day from all the singing!

How does it feel watching games so late at night, especially mid-week games?
It’s difficult. Sometimes I’m up for 24 hours, just so I can watch the game!! Totally worth it though. Mid-week games? Eurgh. Going to work the next day is never fun.

What’s different about a HK-based LFC supporter?
The bags under our eyes! Sometimes we have to go straight to work after a game, depending on KO time! Like the first game of this season – KO is at 3am and I have work the next day…

All-time favourite LFC moment?
Has to be Istanbul, 2005.

Favourite Supporters Club moment?
When Liverpool legends came to HK in 2017 and carried out a whole week of events. It was great to see them and meet them. I even took Hyypia to Soho for a jagerbomb!

Also, my brother couldn’t attend the events, as he had to have brain surgery. LFC gave him a signed top from the first team. The way they are with the fans – speechless.

The Important Stuff

What’s the most evil thing you’ve ever done?
I used to play dead to my baby niece until she cried!! AND I made her catch spiders for me. Yep, I was quite mean to her. We’re still very close to this day though!

What was your worst haircut?
Around 3 years old – my mum cut my fringe wonky and it kept getting higher and higher till it was almost non-existent

What phrase or word do you use the most?
“Not being funny” or “basically”…

Do you have any superstitions?
During the 17-18 CL campaign, I had to buy and drink a bottle of prosecco during the games in order for us to win. Guess what I didn’t do during the final…WHY??!?!

What’s the best thing you’ve ever won?
Supporter Of The Year trophy, which came with a signed Ian Rush shirt!!!

What’s the worst job you’ve ever had?
I worked at Old Trafford for a year during uni…money was good at the time!