We had dinner at David’s earlier this week. He’d called three days before, words, tumbling out in an excited jumble of English and Cantonese.

“Come over. Congee. My mother’s recipe. Very good. My house is now tidy. I have a new girlfriend. New job. You like congee?”

Such a lot of information to digest. But we were glad to hear from him. He’d been keeping his distance – upset about not being allowed to go to South Africa despite being on the football team for nearly two years. Wai Tung had good reason to turn him down though. David, you see, is not homeless, has never been.

“I joined the team because I’m lonely and love football.”

He presented us with those two bits of information almost immediately after we met. David was the first person to come up and say hello when we started working on the film. He showed us around the welfare centre, pointed to his own photo in a newspaper article stuck onto the wall, and asked us several times if we could understand his English.


“Very good!”

“You know what I’m saying?”

“Yes, very good!”

That same exchange is still being repeated every time we meet.

It’s hard not to like David. He’s a bit of an oddball compared to the other members of the team – a timid, older guy who has never been in the triads, never been an alcoholic, never been a drug addict, never really been accepted. The other players don’t quite know what to make of him. David though, doesn’t seem to mind that he’s not quite part of the gang. He’s happy just to be able to play football.

Dinner at David’s was great fun. The congee was delicious and the accompanying yu char kway crunchy and fresh. But the best part of the evening was when we all sat around his stereo set, singing along to hits by the Bee Gees and Air Supply.

“I’m not going back to the team. I think I’m too old,” he told us in between songs. “But I’m now assistant coach for a children’s team.”

Before we could reply, he said, “You like my singing?”

“Yes, David.”

He beamed, then launched into a heartfelt rendition of Don McLean’s Vincent.

As we prepared to leave that night, David thanked us several times for visiting.

“I’m happy you came tonight,” he said. “I’m happy now. Maybe you can come again next time. I’ll introduce you to my girlfriend. Did you like the congee?”