Hong Kong FC
This article has multiple issues. Please help improve it or discuss these issues on the talk page. (Learn how and when to remove these template messages)(Learn how and when to remove this template message)
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. The 2,750-capacity Hong Kong Football Club Stadium is the Hong Kong Rugby Union home pitch.
|Full name||Hong Kong Football Club|
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. 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 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.
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.
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 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.
- Hong Kong First Division
- Hong Kong Second Division
- Hong Kong Senior Shield
- Champions (5): 1898–99, 1907–08, 1915–16, 1918–19, 1921–22