At around 1:00 pm (local time) on the 5th, about 3 and a half hours before the start of the EPL Tottenham-Man City match, I got off at Seven Sisters Station located in Tottenham, London, England. As soon as I climbed the escalator and raised my head, a male fan wearing Son Heung-min’s Tottenham No. 7 home uniform stood out. Less than a minute had passed since getting off the subway, but Tottenham seemed to be saying to the reporter, ‘Welcome to Son Heung-min’s city’. 메이저놀이터
After walking for about 30 minutes, I witnessed countless ‘Son Heung-min (fans wearing Son Heung-min’s uniform)’ until I arrived at the magnificent Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. In front of the Son Heung-min mural located in the residential area, at the crosswalk, at the bus stop, and at the restaurant, numerous ‘Son Heung-min’ were taking pictures, walking, talking, and eating. As the match time approached, ‘Son Heung-min’ increased even more. The store selling Tottenham merchandise was crowded with Korean fans to buy a uniform marked with Son Heung-min.
Choi Hee-joo (28), a job seeker who said that it was her first time to ‘see’ Son Heung-min’s match (directly watching), said, “I don’t know if this is London or Seoul. There are so many Korean soccer fans.” I tried to count the number of Korean fans in the store, but gave up halfway through. Roughly speaking, there were well over 100 people. This is because there are more people coming in than leaving the store. I thought that the Tottenham store would avoid losses thanks to ‘Sonny’.
‘Looking for London and watching Son Heung-min’s home game’ seems to have become a cultural phenomenon among Koreans, a tour course in London. For example, if you visit Buckingham Palace, the British Museum, London Bridge, etc., where the changing of the guard ceremony is held in the morning, and watch Son Heung-min’s home game in the afternoon, you can fully digest your schedule in London. If you take a picture with Son Heung-min in the background, the picture becomes a ‘life cut’ and ‘lifetime pride’.
Ham Sang-wook (31), an office worker wearing Son Heung-min’s national team uniform, said, “I came from Paris to London to watch ‘Sonny’ while traveling in Europe. Lee Eui-deok (29), who accompanied Ham, said, “I am working abroad. I came to Tottenham like this because I took a vacation because the match between Tottenham and Man City was held.”
On the 4th, the day before the Tottenham-Man City match, Wolverhampton, which Hwang Hee-chan belongs to, played a home game against Liverpool. Hwang Hee-chan and Son Heung-min all had a schedule to face the best big clubs in the Premier League. Travel products centered on the ‘Hwang Hee-chan – Son Heung-min course’ were more popular than other products. In the case of Hwang Hee-chan, it is said that the number of intuition fans has changed significantly before and after scoring a ‘final goal in the round of 16’ in the 2022 Qatar World Cup group stage match against Portugal. Mr. Choi said, “It cost quite a lot of money, but I gathered up the courage to think about when I would be able to intuit Hwang Hee-chan and Son Heung-min’s game in my life. I think I did well to come.” Mohamed Salah and Thiago Alcantara (above Liverpool), Liverpool coach Jurgen Klopp,
Son Heung-min is not scoring many points this season compared to the 2021-2022 season, when he was joint top scorer. Nevertheless, the steps to find Tottenham home games are not diminishing. I was curious. Why are fans so passionate about Son Heung-min? Park Si-eun (23) and Joo Na-jeong (22), who stopped by London during their Europe trip, said coolly, “It’s just Sony.” It is Son Heung-min, not anyone else, so he took the time to come to Tottenham himself. He added the explanation, “He’s handsome and he’s good at soccer.” Park said, “I was hurt before the World Cup and my heart ached. Seeing him play a game would be heartbreaking.”
Fans watched with their own eyes as Son Heung-min, who entered the stadium with a pounding heart and regained his ‘form’, performed a ‘storm dribble’ of 80m in 40 seconds in the first half. Although the shot was blocked by the opposing goalkeeper in the 31st minute of the second half, the long-awaited goal and ‘click ceremony’ were not produced. However, the regret was not read on the faces of the fans as they left the stadium. Wouldn’t the fans who had an intuition on this day say this to their acquaintances in the future? He went all the way to Tottenham in London and watched the game of an Asian legend.