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REDS ON TOUR: DAY 7 Mark Platt (back in Liverpool) 29 July 2007
Liverpool have been in Hong Kong for the 2007 Barclays Asia Cup and the club's official website was following them every inch of the way. Here's a taste of what happened on the seventh and final day of the tour...
It's fair to say the Liverpool squad have spent plenty of time on the coach while in Hong Kong but their twice-daily trips to training and other excursions have been lightened up by the Hong Kong Stan Boardman, aka tour guide Gain. His amusing commentary and corny jokes regularly had the lads in raptures but the less we say about his Prince Charles and the fox's hat gag, the better!
No trip to Hong Kong would be complete without a visit to The Peak and the Liverpool squad whiled away few hours on their last day of the tour by taking a tram ride up to one of Asia's most popular tourist attractions. For those with a fear of heights the steep acsent can be a white-knuckle experience but the Redmen held their nerve before disembarking at the summit to enjoy an excellent last meal on the island.
'Reds Stranded In Shark Infested Waters' could almost have been the sensational newspaper headline you was waking up to this morning. On their way to the airport for the flight home, the squad took a ferry ride around the scenic Hong Kong waterfront. The spectacular views of the neon-lit city skyline were a sight to behold but when the boat overheated and broke down there were a few anxious moments as talk of missing the plane spread. With sharks known to occupy these warm waters, the Jaws-factor meant swimming to the shore was definitely not an option, but, thankfully, the delay was not too long and everyone eventually made it to the airport on time.
Lucas Leiva's joy at joining up with his new team-mates and finally making his Liverpool debut was temporarily tempered when his luggage somehow failed to make it from the hotel to the airport. With clothes and many personal artefacts inside the said bag, the likeable Leiva cut a despondent figure in the depature lounge. Fortunately, just seconds before boarding, the Brazilian was informed that his lost luggage had been found and his usual beaming smile returned.
A Bill Shankly-esque team-talk prepared Liverpool for their BA flight back to Heathrow on Saturday night but it wasn't Rafa doing the talking it was the pilot. In his pre-take off chat to passengers he suddenly began quoting the great man and recited the famous 'matter of life or death' quote!
One of the undoubted highlights of the trip has been the fanaticism of the Asian Reds and their overwhelming support has not gone unappreciated by the players and staff. Wherever Liverpool went during their week-long stay on Hong Kong Island, hundreds of fans were there to give them an enthusiastic greeting. Liverpool head of press Ian Cotton regularly thanked the die-hards who camped outside the team hotel by handing out pin badges, while the entire squad happily posed for photographs and signed autographs at every given opportunity.
Finally, on behalf of everyone at Liverpool Football Club, a big thank-you to the people of Hong Kong for the hospitality they have shown during the tour and to all the fans who were out there supporting the Reds.

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