“China flexes her football muscles” – in 1979 – against Celtic, Chelsea, WBA and Middlesbrough

“China flexes her football muscles” and “Chinese aim for place in the World Cup”: two headlines that could’ve been written in 2017 but were in fact in a Celtic match programme from 8th August 1979. That summer a squad of 17 Chinese players travelled to Europe for a long forgotten two month tour of France, […]

China’s historic 1977 tour to the USA remembered

In October 1977, Jimmy Carter was in the White House, the New York Yankees were on their way to another World Series win and the Chinese national team was in America to play three friendlies against the USA, and on their ground-breaking first tour to the capitalist West, the Chinese would also play five games in […]

South China’s Nikola Komazec: “Living through war and conflict made me stronger”

The true mark of successful person is often not the image they portray to the watching world; it is often the struggles and obstacles they have overcome with persistence to reach their desired destination. When faced with challenges, a person can either be cynical or world-weary or friendly and full of positivity. Luckily, Nikola Komazec, is […]

A trumpet-playing panda and half-time ice cream: West Brom’s 1978 tour of China

In May 1978 West Bromwich Albion made history by becoming the first English professional football team to tour China, playing in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou as well as the then British colony of Hong Kong. WEF looks back at this little known tour that was significant on both sporting and political levels.

The first western club to tour China: New York Cosmos’ 1977 adventure

Pele’s farewell tour with the New York Cosmos in 1977 was the first time that a professional Western club had visited China. The Brazilian legend, alongside fellow World Cup winners Carlos Alberto and Franz Beckenbauer, were part of the Cosmos side that played friendlies against the Chinese national side in Beijing and Shanghai. WEF looks back at what happened on this ground breaking tour.