Tue, Dec 03, 2013 - Page 20 News List

Man United former stars and trophy to visit Taipei

By Jason Pan  /  Staff reporter

Ronny Johnsen and Quinton Fortune, two players from Manchester United’s fabled 1999 treble-winning squad, will greet fans tomorrow at two public events, at which the Premier League trophy will be on display in a one-day-only appearance in Taiwan.

The first event will be held at Liberty Square in front of the National Theater (21 Zhongshan S Rd) in Taipei tomorrow from 10:30am to 11:30am.

United won the Premiership title for a record 20th time last year.

This is a change of time and venue from the previous announcement, which stated that the event would be held on the grounds of the National Palace Museum.

Johnsen and Fortune will then take the trophy to the second event in front of Taipei 101 (45 Shifu Rd), from 12am to 1pm. A press conference with the two former Red Devils stars will be held later in the afternoon.

Both players were on the 1999 treble-winning team, with Johnsen playing centerback and defensive midfielder in the regular starting lineup that season.

Johnsen and Fortune, the South African left midfielder, played alongside other Red Devils legends of that era — including Roy Keane, David Beckham, Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes, Peter Schmeichel, Jaap Stam, Gary Neville and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

Manchester United Fan Club in Taiwan chairperson Max Shih, a soccer broadcast commentator, said it is a special opportunity for local fans to get close-up and see the Premier League trophy in person.

“For Taipei to be included in this Asian Trophy Tour has an important symbolic meaning that Taiwan’s football communities are linked to the world, and we have many players and supporters who are passionate about football,” he said.

Shih said that the Premier League trophy and the former players coming to Taiwan will enable Taiwanese soccer officials and fans to build more contacts with Manchester United, and with other major clubs in English and other top European leagues.

The Taipei stopover is part of Manchester United’s two-week Asia Trophy Tour, which started in Jakarta yesterday.

After Taiwan, the Trophy Tour will head to Seoul, South Korea, then to three major cities in China — Shanghai, Guangzhou and Hong Kong.

Other Asian stops scheduled for the tour for early next year include Tokyo, Ho Chi Minh City, Singapore, Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Mumbai, New Delhi, Dubai, Riyadh and Doha.

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