Young Pioneer Tours

When Arsenal Played in Beijing in 2012


While clearing through our old “blogs,” I was hit with the following story we published in 2012.

“OK, so not strictly YPT thing, but Arsenal are playing Man City at the birds nest on July 27th, and on the 29th in Hong Kong. I can get tickets for both games, if anyone needs them please e-mail us.”

To say we did not know all that much about blogging back then would be a big understatement! But a Young YPT were official resellers for tickets for the match.

Why Did YPT Get Involved in This?

YPT Founder Gareth at the match

I personally am an Arsenal fan, and so are my family. My brother-in-law Frank Stubbles is a famous Arsenal blogger that goes to see pretty much every match that Arsenal play. He decided he was going to come to Asia, and I was tasked with tickets for the China parts of the trip.

Why Were Arsenal Playing Summer Matches Over Asia?

Quick answer! Money, good old fashioned money. The tour would have them playing a Malaysia XI in Malaysia, before playing in the Birds Nest Stadium against Manchester City on July 27th, before finishing off with a game against champions of Hong Kong Kitchee on the July 29th (my birthday in case anyone cares).

How Did It Play Out?

I’d personally been to South Korea (my first time) and Weihai just before the trip, so I arrived on the day of the match. Due to wishing of clothes issues I’d had what could only be called a wardrobe malfunction and was not looking my best. Ironically due to my connections, I was given a press pass. Good in the sense that I got to be mere yards from Arsene Wenger and the boys, but bad in the sense that I looked a bit like a tit.

And That Match?


The crowd started by supporting Arsenal, which was nice, but ended up sporting city when they were winning. Long story short, Arsenal lost the match.

History though, will remember it as the first time YPT got football tickets for Arsenal’s traveling fans. Of course, they came back the following year to Yiwu, and we did it all again, but that is another blog entirely.

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