An Interview with Raymond Chan Kai-man by Tim Kwan
Q. What years did you attend WYK?
I graduated in the class of the ’73.
Q. What sports did you play?
I am too small to play basketball, and not as talented as you are in tennis, so I mainly played soccer…I played a few years for our school soccer team.
Q. Which grades and years?
During Form 2, 3 & 5; C & B grades.
Q. What position did you play?
I guess I wasn’t particularly good at any one position, so I kind of played many positions. I played midfield and center forward for the school team.
Q. Do you remember the Sandy Field?
Oh yes, lots of memories with the Sandy field. Got lots of hard time from my mom for playing in wet muddy conditions and got the white pant so dirty.
Q. What about the Grass Field?
Loved the grass field… it was a privilege to have such facility in HK and was proud of that. Still have vivid memories about playing/watching friendly inter-school games, our own inter-class games or some fun game between the staff and students. Students watched from the canteen and outside the Chapel. Lots of fun and memories about the Grass Field.
Q. What did you enjoy most?
I enjoyed the time I spent in the school team a lot. Mr. Yan (Sung Kei) spent lots of time teaching us all the basic skills. I would like to take this opportunity to send him a sincere ‘thank you’ here. Also the practices and the games make all of us feel like a team and ‘comrades’ even though most of us did not go to the same class. Also, learned to approach games with a winning attitude and ‘never give up’.
Q. NEVER GIVE UP. It sounds like what you recently told me “…never played a game that I didn’t think we can win.” Please explain.
If you think you are going to lose, why step on the field and play the game?… besides, like the Canadians like to say ‘the game isn’t over until the fat lady sings’… I always told the younger players during half time when we were down: “if they can do it, we can do that too” as long as there is time, anything can happen. You have to find ways to beat a better team. In one game years ago, opposing team just scored and our team was down 3-1, learned from the ref. that there was only 10 minutes left, saw that the goalie of the other team was leaning on one post thinking that their team had the game wrapped up, so I shot from the center point and luckily that went in . We ended up winning that game 4-3 with a last minute penalty shot I earned, stole the ball from their defense inside the box and they had to bring me down.
To me, soccer is like life, sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, but you need the attitude to never give up and always go for the win; or at least, try for the win.
Hopefully you win more than you lose…that is all you can ask for.
Q. Do you have memories of the best moments?
Best moments during those years, hmm.……
I liked to form a ‘united’ team by picking players from different classes. One year, the team I put up won the Xmas 7-a-side tournament. That was a tough tournament since we had to play more than one game during the day, and in the semi-final game, we only had 6 players (1 player slept-in in the morning), but managed to win and get to the final. .I guess we were all young at the time and able to manage it.
Q. What about the worst moment(s)? Did you learn something from that?
Worst moment had to be a game vs. King George V. I broke my ankle, put into a cast and skipped school for 6 weeks. .After that, I learned how to avoid slide tackles; also, play with my head, not just my feet.
Q. After WYK, you lived in Canada, organized and played for WYK. Describe.
After high school, I came to Windsor, Canada to study, played soccer for high school and was fortunate to be selected to the All City soccer team. Also played for the inter-college games in U of Toronto, and played in the inter-university China Cup. In the 80s, with the aid of a couple other soccer fanatics, formed the ‘Scarborough Chinese Soccer League’. Then in 1994, helped formed a team of WYK alumni to participate in the HK catholic school soccer league. The League brought together teams from La Salle, St Joseph, Ramondi…etc., we did ok in those years. Won league champion once.
Q. Any interesting memories you would like to talk about during years with the alumni team?
The most memorable game with the WYK alumni team got to be the game in 1999, when we faced WYHK to compete for the Wah Yan Cup, a cup specially dedicated to the 75th and 80th anniversaries of WYK and WYHK respectively.
That was a very memorable game. Fr. Coghlan was the referee.