Hong Kong FC

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Hong Kong Football Club
FoundedFebruary 12, 1886 (1886-02-12) in Hong Kong
Founder Sir James Haldane Lockhart
Headquarters3 Sports Road, Happy Valley Hong Kong,
Hong Kong
ServicesFacilitate the development and participation of recognized sporting activities
Website http://www.hkfc.com.hk

Hong Kong Football Club (HKFC; Chinese :香港足球會) established in 1886 which is one of the foremost private members’ clubs in Hong Kong. The name reflects the origin as a club for playing Association and Rugby Football, the Club boasts superb facilities across a broad spectrum of competitive and recreational sports as well as hosts top international sports events and touring sides.

Contents

The club is situated in Happy Valley, with the sports pitches being inside the Happy Valley Racecourse. The 2,750-capacity Hong Kong Football Club Stadium is where all the club's rugby and soccer matches are played and it is also the home pitch for most, if not all, of the Hong Kong Rugby Union's international matches. It is also the venue for the HKFC International Rugby Tens and HKFC International Soccer Sevens tournaments. The club is committed to facilitating the development and participation of numerous sports in Hong Kong through close collaboration with National Sports Associations and organising sports activities for members and non-members.

History

The HKFC main entrance HK HongKongFootballClub Entrance.jpg
The HKFC main entrance

Hong Kong Football Club was founded in 1886 by Sir James Haldane Lockhart, following a meeting that was held at the Victoria Recreation Gymnasium on 12 February 1886. [1] [2] The names derives from its establishment as a club for playing Association and Rugby Football (now known as rugby union) – not just as an association football (soccer) club as many think today.

The first sport the club played was in fact rugby union, on 16 February 1886, four days after the club formed. The first soccer match of the club was played on 16 March 1886, against the Royal Engineers. [1]

The now famous Hong Kong International Rugby Sevens was founded by and first played at the Club in 1976. Sports Road continued to be the venue until it outgrew its home and was moved to the Hong Kong Government Stadium (now the Hong Kong Stadium) in 1982.

The clubhouse and pitches were situated adjacent to the racecourse. But in 1995, as part of a redevelopment of the racecourse, the club into a brand new, 64,000 square metre, purpose-built home, with the main building being outside the race track with the main pitch, all weather hockey pitch, bowling green and sports bar being inside the racetrack.

In 2011, HKFC celebrated their 125th anniversary as a club.

Present day

Today HKFC has facilities for lawn bowls, rugby, football, hockey, squash, and tennis. The indoor sports hall has facilities for netball, basketball, badminton and table tennis. The swimming pool complex is used for triathlon and swimming training as well as leisure swimming.

Since 1986 the club has held an International 10-a-side rugby tournament, which has grown to become a leading competition, hosting international standard teams from around the world. It is held at the Club in the week immediately preceding the Hong Kong Sevens.

Another well known event held at Sports Road is the International Soccer 7s Tournament. Primarily comprising teams filled with junior players, it attracts international teams from the English and Scottish Premiership, J-League (Japan) and Dutch First Division.

Leadership

Post-War Presidents

  1. Col. W.M. Thompson (unofficial; 1946)
  2. Sir Arthur Morse (1946–1953)
  3. Sir Michael Turner (1953–1959)
  4. D. Black (1959–1961)
  5. Col. H.B.L. Dowbiggin (1961–1966)
  6. Sir John Saunders (1966–1968)
  7. V.O. Roberts (1968–1978)
  8. H.M.G Forsgate (1978–2001)
  9. D. Agnew (2002–2018)
  10. N. Hunsworth (2018–)

Post-War Chairmen

  1. J. Redman (unofficial; 1946)
  2. J. Skinner (1946–1948)
  3. D. Black (1948–1949)
  4. J. Skinner (1949–1953); second term
  5. J. R. Henderson (1953–1955)
  6. K. W. Forrow (1955–1958)
  7. B. I. Bickford (1958–1959)
  8. K. W. Forrow (1959–1961); second term
  9. H. H. Holgate (1961–1962)
  10. T. V. C. Reynolds (1962–1963)
  11. B. C. Penman (1963–1966)
  12. E. M. Laishley (1966–1967)
  13. H. Van Echten (1967–1970)
  14. E. M. Laishley (1970–1972); second term
  15. R. Gaff (1972–1977)
  16. J. C. Cartner (1977–1979)
  17. A. A. Lister (1979–1982)
  18. J. A. B. Duncan (1982–1985)
  19. K. J. Marshall (1985–1988)
  20. A. T. Robertson (1988–1990)
  21. M. J. Moir (1990–1995)
  22. N. C. Bennett (1995–1997)
  23. A. Macleod (1997–1999)
  24. R. Neish (1999–2003)
  25. J. Collins-Taylor (2003–2006)
  26. A. J. C. Brown (2006–2008)
  27. A. C. Fook (2008–2012)
  28. J. J. Shanahan (2012–2018)
  29. M. J. Wood (2018–)

Sports

Rugby

With over 300 Members, HKFC supports nine senior 15's rugby teams within the domestic league and approximately 400 mini rugby players (4 to 12-year-olds) and 120 Colts (12 to 18-year-olds) youth rugby players, making it one of the largest rugby clubs in Hong Kong. The rugby union club play at the 2,750-capacity Hong Kong Football Club Stadium.

The men's teams compete in every local league and cup competition, with the 1st XV 'Club' having been crowned Grand Champions of the league on many occasions – most recently completing the league and cup double in the 2007/08 season. The second team 'Dragons' is also very successful and have won the NL1 (National League 1) Almost 4 times in a row. Scorpions (The third team) have won the NL2 two times and have recently been moved up to NL1 and have reached the semi-final. The fourth and fifth team, Select and Bulls compete for NL2 now Scorpions have moved up and Select have won that on their most recent occasion.

The ladies teams, Ice and Fire, play in the Premiership and NL1 (National League 1) respectively. Founded in 1996, it is one of the oldest ladies rugby sections in Hong Kong.

Football

While the football team has won many titles in the second-tier competition in recent years, they have rarely enjoyed success when playing against the professional sides in the First Division.

In the past few years, HKFC opted not to take promotion to the First Division. In 2006, finally, the club accepted the promotion after winning the Second Division.After showing initial promise, they lost 4 league matches in a row between March and April 2007, and were relegated to the Second Division, until April 2010 as they obtained another championship of Second Division, then promoted to First Division in next season. Therefore, HKFC is known as the Yo-yo club in Hong Kong soccer sector.

The HKFC Soccer Sevens is an annual 7-a-side football tournament organised by the Hong Kong Football Club (HKFC). The event is held annually in the middle weekend of May in Hong Kong, commencing on the Friday evening, and concluding on the Sunday evening.

The football section also fields three reserve teams in the Hong Kong football pyramid named Lucky Mile, Club Albion and Club Wanderers.

Honours

Lawn Bowls

With around 200 members, the Lawn Bowls Section participates in the HKLBA leagues and National competitions as well as organising internal competitions in all forms of the game on both Outdoor green and Indoor carpet. The Section's tradition of organising Beginner's Courses for Club members has introduced many people to the game. Competition is only one aspect of the Section's mission, the other and of equal importance is that of providing an environment where people can bowl in harmony and friendship, be it in a team or just socially.

Hockey

The Hockey Section has over 300 members who are registered with the Hong Kong Hockey Association. From this membership the Section fields a total of 16 teams, including eight Men's teams and eight Ladies’ teams which compete in the Hong Kong League system and a number of knock-out cup competitions.

The stature of Hockey within the club is also evidenced by the international tournaments and matches it hosts. The Hockey 6s is now an international standard annual tournament which attracts teams from around the world, and the club has played host to International tournaments notably, Veterans and Masters Indoor and Outdoor events. In addition, many top international teams from leading Hockey nations have trained and played at the club, including Australia, New Zealand, Great Britain, Holland, Japan and Korea. Likewise our own sides tour frequently across Asia and the world, and every year they compete in tournaments in Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand.

Squash

The Squash Section has over 250 members representing the Club widely in the HK Squash leagues. They have a total of around 24 teams competing in the Divisions, Men's One to Fourteen, Ladies One to Four and in all Masters' (over 40's) Divisions. The Club continues to be successful in the league, by claiming division titles, gaining top four play-off positions and achieving play-off success at various levels of the league. This includes the highly competitive Men's and Ladies First Divisions, in which the club has frequently been victorious.

Netball DSA

The Netball Designated Sports Association (DSA) is one of the biggest netball clubs in Hong Kong, with seven teams in the Hong Kong Netball Association (HKNA) senior leagues and players representing Hong Kong in the national senior and junior netball squads. Home fixtures are played on the HKFC Sports Hall's two netball courts, one of the best venues for netball in Hong Kong. As part of HKFC's commitment to developing the sport, the HKFC Junior Netball Academy is dedicated to encouraging more young people to play this fast-moving sport and provides coaching and training for members and non-members’ children.

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References

  1. 1 2 Twydell, Dave (1994). The Little Red Book of Chinese Football. Yore Publications. ISBN   1-874427-80-1.
  2. The China Mail, 1886-02-13, page 3