When I left to go travelling earlier this month Crawley Town gave me the 2015/16 shirt and told me to spread the gospel about the club to as many football fans in other parts of the world as I could.
First up was Financial capital of Asia, Hong Kong.
I met Seung-Jae Lee whilst at Victoria Peak, looking down at the Skyscrapers that make up the impressive skyline of Hong Kong. He is South Korean and, like many of his fellow countrymen, is an avid fan of English football; which has a huge following in Asia.
Lee watches games every Saturday night at 10pm local time and he told me that the pubs and bars in his local city of Seoul are packed with fans watching English teams. Korean broadcasters have different rights when televising football, meaning Saturday 3pm kick-offs are much more accessible to watch compared to in the UK.
As football fever hit South Korea when they joint held the 2002 World Cup, Lee was undertaking the national mandatory military service. This meant he couldn’t attend any of the matches, but he never missed a game on TV as he watched his country defy the odds on their way to a fourth place finish.
He has little knowledge of the football league but when talking about Reds he was impressed with the growth of the club in the last ten years, especially back-to-back promotions & the FA Cup run that ended at Old Trafford with a Wes Brown header.
As a South Korean & a Manchester United supporter, Lee enjoys watching forward-minded players like Lee Chung-Yong, Cristiano Ronaldo & Rooney- not CTFC’s very own number 10, but the England captain.
When checking up on the latest United score, I scrolled down a few leagues to see how the Reds are getting on and get urged him to get involved with the Twitter & Facebook pages for updates on the club.
Lee has never been to England, but wants to visit the capital. When he does make the 11 hour flight west, there are now two things to check off his to-do list:
– To watch Wayne Rooney lead the Three Lions out at Wembley
– An hours drive south to the Checkatrade.com Stadium to see Reds in action