Meet the superfan who moved across the world for Pompey

A die-hard Pompey fan has returned home to the Far East after spending the past two years following the club up and down the country.

Wednesday, 28th March 2018, 7:00 am
Updated Wednesday, 28th March 2018, 11:05 am
Hoi Po, whose nickname is Niko - after former Blues midfielder Niko Kranjcar - has jetted back to Hong Kong after living in Portsmouth for two years to follow Pompey Picture: Craig Fulton

Hoi Po, whose nickname is Niko — after former Blues midfielder Niko Kranjcar — jetted back to Hong Kong on Tuesday.

He’d been living in Portsmouth since April 2016 on a working-holiday visa and the sole reason behind him moving more than 6,000 miles across the globe was to follow Pompey. The 26-year-old began supporting the club in 2006, witnessing the Blues win the FA Cup in 2008 and then drop down the Football League after hitting financial turmoil.

However, he never once contemplated ditching Pompey for another team.

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Niko said: ‘I started watching the Premier League in 2006 and I thought Pompey were one of the best around.

‘Whenever they were on TV, the fans were always the loudest. I could always hear John Westwood’s bell ringing and I really liked it.

‘My first game was in the Asia Trophy final in 2007, which was in Hong Kong against Liverpool.

‘We only had 300 Pompey fans there, while there were 30,000 Liverpool fans but we outsang them.

‘From that day, I felt like I was a proper Pompey fan and fell in love with it.

‘A normal fan in Hong Kong would have given up if their team was relegated but I realised I couldn’t give up and wouldn’t be a proper Pompey fan.’

In the past two years, Niko — who worked in the Co-op supermarket at Lakeside North Harbour — missed just three Pompey games.

He was present for the League Two promotion-winning match at Notts County last season, as well as the Blues winning the title on the final day of the season after the 6-1 defeat of Cheltenham.

Niko also was sacked from a job as a pot washer for not turning up for work in May 2016 — instead attending the May 2016 play-off semi-final second leg at Plymouth.

He’s become a cult-hero among the Fratton faithful, with many supporters recognising him at games.

And Niko saluted everyone who gave him such a warm welcome.

He added: ‘The Notts County game was better than Cheltenham for me.

‘I couldn’t stop crying at Notts County, while I was really happy after we won the league. It’s a great feeling to be recognised by all the fans who meet me - a lot of them know me but I don’t know many of them.

‘It’s like they are family and I’ve got a new family over here.’