Crawley fan Olly Huddlestone spreading the word about the Reds on his travels
When Reds’ fan Olly Huddlestone left to go travelling earlier this month we gave him a Crawley Town shirt and told him to spread the gospel about the club to as many football fans in other parts of the world as he could.
Here’s Olly’s report from his second port of call, Malaysia
My first port of call was the capital, Kuala Lumpur; a typical Asian city, very similar to the overcrowding and hustle and bustle of Hong Kong, but with a different culture. After the usual tourist activity of sightseeing, I headed to the beaches of the Perhentian Islands where I met Mr Ali.
He was a part time taxi driver and the most interesting person I had met on my travels so far. For the hour-long journey he did not stop talking and we were soon on to the subject of football, when he told me his favourite team were the champions of Europe, Barcelona.
Mr Ali fancied himself as a winger back in his playing days, but he assured me these are long since over and now he enjoys racing one of his four cars, along with fishing and buying animals to farm.
When driving through his village to get to the port we saw his son playing football with about 30 others on a patch of sandy grass home to chickens and goats with goalposts made from bamboo.
Mr Ali told me his sons followed the English game avidly and would be up sometimes in the early hours of the morning, because of the time difference, to follow the scores on the Internet.
When I asked if he knew any of the English leagues, Mr Ali named the top four flights of English football, but insisted his sons would know much more.
He also mentioned he had a grandson who is too young to have a team yet, to which I said look no further and pulled out the Reds Jersey just as we approached the destination.
After talking about the club and holding the home shirt, Mr Ali laughed then asked if they were available in smaller sizes and seemed happy to take the photo.
I think we have recruited another overseas’ Reds fan!