Wanchai Spartans FC was founded ten years ago, by a collection of expatriate friends and footballers employed in Hong Kong. The team was created to compete in the Saturday Legal League and the Yau Yee League played on Sundays. Although through the passage of years, the Spartans have evolved into the two separate and distinct teams in their respective competitions, the players still retain a strong link in terms of camaderie and the pursuit of social engagements.
The Spartans enjoy an illustrious and enviable reputation in the history of the Yau Yee League competition. From its introduction in the league in the 1992-1993 season, the team sustained a meteoric rise from the 4th Division to the 1st Division in a timespan of four consecutive years.
Wanchai Spartans 1992
However, the upheavals witnessed by Hong Kong in 1997, were to mirror the fortunes of the Spartans. The team was unable to sustain the loss of key players in the mass exodus of professionals leaving the colony to employ elsewhere and the retirement of others from their playing days, ripped the heart from the team.
The team suffered from the transitional period and faced the ignominy of reversal of its progress by a return to the 4th Division by the end of the 1999-2000 season; however the following season saw a revival in the fortunes of the Spartans. The return of a handful of ex-Spartans and a new management team groomed from the desolate years, found renewed hope and ominous auspices. The “new-look Spartans” unveiled in the 2000-2001 season, represented a harmonious blend of youth and experience from a squad comprising of expatriates, British-born Chinese players and local talent. The strange mixture of personnel in the Spartans team thwarted the opponents with their un-categorised identity, being neither a chinese nor a “gweilo” team, but the coalition sparked the imminent revival of the Spartans culminating in the promotion to the 3rd Division by the end of the season.
The 2001-2002 campaign witnessed a three-horse race between KCC Dragons, Hoo Cheung and the Spartans for
the two promotion spots; and after a close battle, the Spartans were narrowly edged out into third spot by a handful of points.
The story does not end here. Moments before the start of another season in the third division, the cards suddenly turned in the Spartans favour, landing them a spot in the much coveted second division.
During the 2000-01 season, Wanchai Spartans FC bid adieu to the highly successful managerial duo of Tony Chan (ass Kin Sam) and Keith Lee, whose achievements will be inscribed in Spartans folklore and their toils in the renaissance will never be forgotten.
Season 2002-03, a new era dawns for the Spartans as we welcome the appointment of Hamid lane and Russell Pang to the managerial positions and the team looks forward to the coming season with renewed vigour and optimism.
The Yau Yee League was founded almost twenty years ago in Hong Kong by the defection of a number of teams from the Hong Kong FA League. These teams had grown restless at what they perceived to be growing corruption within the FA league and were thus moved to establish a rival competition.
The new league quickly grew in popularity, with teams founded along national lines, such as Swiss, French Dragons, German All Stars and Azzurri (Italians) establishing themselves alongside a mixture of ‘colonial outfits including British army team Squadron and top local teams, like Hong Kong Sports Institute.
Remaining fiercely competitive and proudly amateur, the League has now grown to four divisions of 48 teams, with a well-established infrastructure and a continuing high standard of football.