This week the team travel to China to play an end of the season game. Tottenham have several links with the country, having (almost) signed one player from there whilst we have visited the country four times previously.
It seems appropriate that we return to the Peoples Republic in this the Year of the Cockerel.
Our last trip to China came in 2013 when we traveled there to play Sunderland. The game played in dreadful heavy rain and only took place due to the PL’s insistence, starting half an hour late and was reduced to 40 minutes each way. Almost inevitability we saw a Spurs player injured when Jan Vertonghen suffered an injury to his ankle ligaments, (below). This came after Siguardsson had given us the lead after twenty five minutes from an Aaron Lennon cross. In what can best be described as a lottery Sunderland came from behind to win.
Our second game that trip was against South China. And Spurs won by 6-0. Jermain Defoe running in a hat trick, Andros Townsend and Clint Dempsey added one each as well as an own goal.
Did you know that a party of 25 officials from the Chinese government visited White Hart Lane in 2009 during a visit to the UK?
Our first visit to the country was in 1985 when we stopped in Hong Kong and played Seiko winning 4-0, Mabbutt with two, Falco and Dick scoring for Spurs in front of 20,000 supporters on our way to play in Australia.
In 2002 Spurs gave a trial to a Chinese international, Qu Bo (known as Kevin) The Home Office declined to give him a work visa and the transfer wasn’t completed. He would later play at the under 20 World Cup and then in the Olympics.
Ten years were to pass before the our second trip and we played an Eastern/Kitchee Select side again in Hong Kong. Spurs winning this game 7-2, in a game labeled the Euro-Asia Challenge. Ten and a half thousand watched us as our goals came from Anderton, Klinsmann 2 (in his last game for Spurs in his first spell with the club), Barmby2, Kerslake and Dozzell.
We then moved on to play Guangzhou and Sheringham scored both in our 2-1 win. The Spurs tour then moved on to Singapore.
The Olympic Games in Beijing in 2008 saw Vertonghen and Dembele represent Belgium with Moussa scoring against China and twice V Italy before they lost to Nigeria in the knock out stages.
While Argentina included Frederico Fazio in their Gold winning team.
The next visit to the country came in 2009 when we won the Barclays Asia Trophy. We played West Ham in Beijing, Defoe scoring the only goal of the game which drew a crowd of 30,000. We stayed in the city to beat Hull City 3-0, Keane with two goals, one a penalty and Lennon scoring in front of 25,000.
We then played a third game, the Panasonic Invitation Cup, against South China in Hong Kong and the home side won 0-2. 23,000. At that time Spurs had a partnership arrangement with the Chinese club to swop coaches and techniques whilst some young Chinese players would train with Spurs in Enfield.
England has only met China once, that was in Bijing in 1996 just before the European Championships in England. When Terry Venables team won 3-0, all the goals came from former Spurs players, with two goals from Nick Barmby and one from Paul Gascoigne. Darren Anderton and Ian Walker played and Aston Villas Ugo Ehuigo won his first cap.
Three days later England beat a Hong Kong XI. The Chinese (the press claimed they were the same level as a division three side) went down to a thirty fifth minute goal from Les Ferdinand. The game will only be remembered for the antics of the English players and some of their drinking behaviour.
The latest connection with Spurs came in 2015 when we sold Paulinho to the Chinese club Guangzhou Evergrande.
This time around we will play Kitchee SC (see 1995) The host club was only formed in 1931.
Tours have changed since those earliest summer trips. These days they involve a number of community events, open training sessions and gives the clubs and the sponsors a chance to raise their profiles within out fan base.
Ledley King (above) coaching in one of the many community events.
If you know of any other links between Spurs and China then please let me know.
More International connections and more can be found @
Top pic- V South China 2013.
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