Hong Kong Football and Scottish links

Writing for From the Tofu Bowl has had me following leagues across East Asia. All these leagues have their own unique interests. However one of the smaller leagues that I have taken a key interest in is in Hong Kong. Back in Wales, I have watched the Welsh League and the standard and number of fans there are that similar to the Hong Kong Premier League. You might have seen recently write-ups about Kitchee but I am now looking at another team in Hong Kong named the Hong Kong Rangers that sit the opposite end of the table to Kitchee. 

HK Rangers are a club based in Hong Kong and play their home games at the Sham Shui Po Sports Ground and average crowds of around 300. The club takes its name as you may have realised from Rangers of Glasgow, Scotland. 

The club was founded back in the 1950s by a fan of Glasgow Rangers named Ian Petrie, hence why they were giving the name. So there is a link between the club and still is to this day however it is not an official one. For this reason, I don't think we are seeing any young Scottish players being sent out to Hong Kong anytime soon. 

However back in the 1950s, HK Rangers became a club a that had a very modern look about it. They did not have the money to compete against the bigger teams in Hong Kong so they relied upon young players something they have kept up to this day. The most famous player found by Ian was a man named Kwok Ka Ming who went on to play for and manage the Hong Kong national side. 

Fast forward to the 1970s and HK Rangers brought in 3 Scottish players, these where the first Scottish players to play in Hong Kong and created an environment for players to come over from the British Isles to play in Hong Kong. One of these players who went on to make a name for himself in Hong Kong Derek Currie recalled that they would discuss tactics using Glasgow Rangers Subbuteo men. 

While HK Rangers now sit bottom of the Hong Kong Premier League they did have a rich run of success in the 1970s and 80s. In this time they won the league, the Viceroy Shield twice, the Hong Kong Senior Shield twice and the Hong Kong FA Cup once. However, their last major trophy was in 1995 when they won the Hong Kong Senior Shield and FA Cup double. They did also win promotion back to the Premier League in 2012. 

Now in 2018 with only one win to their name things are not looking good, however, with the use of a lot of young Hong Kong talent, they will be hoping for more success in the future. The club is also keeping to tradition off the pitch as a tribute to their Scottish history,  their kit as a tartan pattern feel to it. 

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