An all-Asian soccer team, mostly made up of Chinese students, called themselves the "Wings" and played in Sydney's Metropolitan League during the late fifties. The players were on study visas. One such player was Malaysian international Wong Leong Kong. To his teammates, he was the star.
Wong was born in Ipoh, Malaysia, to Chinese parents in 1936. He was sent to Australia by his father to study accounting. By 1959, he was signed by North Side United, and was the only Asian in top-flight sport. North Side would merge with Polonia in 1961 and become Polonia N.S.
By 1964, Wong had moved to APIA and won the NSW First Division Grand Final against St George Budapest by seven goals to two. He created four of APIA's seven, helping John Watkiss score five on the day. Wong was best on ground.
In Anglo-centric Australia, names like Wong Leong Kong were not going to last in the company of men. Of course, he was given a nickname for which he would become known, Johnny. Johnny Wong. He played in an attacking role, mostly as an inside-left, but sometimes as a winger. No matter where he played his pace and dazzling skills were always on show.
By the seventies, Wong was retired and working for the British Trade Commission in Hong Kong. His story is historic, not only from a cultural perspective, but for the commitment he showed every time he stepped onto an Australian soccer pitch.
They Called Him Johnny Wong T-shirt
- Unisex, regular fit
- Crew neck
- Mid-weight, 180 GSM
- 100% combed cotton
- Neck ribbing, side seamed, shoulder to shoulder tape, double needle hems, preshrunk to minimise shrinkage
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