Hong Kong FC
|Full name||Hong Kong Football Club|
Hong Kong Football Club (HKFC; Chinese: 香港足球會) or Natixis HKFC (name of the rugby union club) is a private members sports and social club in Hong Kong. It is situated in Happy Valley, with the sports pitches being inside the Happy Valley Racecourse.
Hong Kong Football Club was founded in 1886 by Sir James Haldane Stewart Lockhart, following a meeting that was held at the Victoria Recreation Gymnasium on 12 February 1886. 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.
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.
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.
With over 300 Members, the Natixis HKFC Select supports 7 senior rugby teams within the domestic league (including a ladies team) and approximately 400 mini rugby players (4- to 12-year-olds) and 120 Colts (12- to 18-year-olds) and 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.
These teams compete in every local league and cup competition, with the 1st XV 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.
in bold = players internationals
Note: Flags indicate national union as has been defined under WR eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-WR nationality.
- Joelin Rapana – former Queensland Reds and Western Force player.
- Tom Hayman – former Leicester Tigers player.
- Lloyd Jones – Australia U19 international.
- James Richards – former Cambridge University R.U.F.C. captain.
- Tom Bolland – Hong Kong international.
- Lachlan Chubb – Hong Kong international.
- Horse Nolan – Hong Kong international.
- Ian Ridgway – Hong Kong international.
- Dan Watson – Hong Kong international.
- Charles French – Hong Kong international.
- Guy Payne – Hong Kong international.
- Jamie Chapman – Hong Kong international.
- Pete McKee – Hong Kong international and Asia Pacific Barbarians player.
- Michael Glancy – Hong Kong international and Ireland U-21 Rugby Union team.
- Jamie Hood – Hong Kong international.
- Sebastien Alfonsi – Hong Kong international.
- Mike McKee – Hong Kong international.
- Adam Raby – Hong Kong international.
- Hone Patrick – Hong Kong international.
While the soccer 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.
HKFC's development team "Colts" is known for producing some of the finest young talent in Hong Kong (notably Colts legend Tom Halder). The Colts' fans (known as the "Colts Ultras") are known for their loyal support. The Ultras are often associated with a hostile atmosphere and occasional crowd violence.
The Hong Kong International Soccer Sevens is an annual 7-a-side soccer 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 soccer section also fields three reserve teams in the Hong Kong football pyramid named Lucky Mile, Club Albion and Club Wanderers.
- Hong Kong First Division League
- Winners (1): 1919–20
- Hong Kong Senior Shield
- Winners (5): 1898–99, 1907–08, 1915–16, 1918–19, 1921–22
Manchester United Premier Cup Hong Kong Champions U 15 2010
Henderson Elite Youth League U 15 Champions 2011
- Twydell, Dave (1994). The Little Red Book of Chinese Football. Yore Publications. ISBN 1-874427-80-1.
- The China Mail, 1886-02-13, page 3