top of page

Hougang United, The pride of the North-East

Updated: Aug 17, 2023

By: Confaderal | 12 August 2023 7:15pm


The hougang fan capo tries to rally his troops for the chanting during the match. Credit: Hougang hools facebook

Hougang United FC, Sengkang Punggol FC, Paya Lebar-Punggol FC, Sengkang Marine FC, Marine Castle FC. These are the previous iterations of our club and gives us what we understand as our history. Our club has changed it's name countless times, but one thing remains constant; that we're a football club meant for the residents of the North-East of Singapore.


But that is by no means exclusive. I've met hougang supporters from as far as Choa Chu Kang and Bukit Batok who enjoy making the trip to hougang stadium. Why? That's a question I've always asked...


"...I've met hougang supporters from as far as Choa Chu Kang and Bukit Batok who enjoy making the trip to hougang stadium. Why? That's a question I've always asked..."

I remember 2016. It was my bachelor days living just five minutes away from the Hougang stadium, the spiritual home of Hougang United fc. My old man would visit on weekends and football was a good reason to meet. We've been to watch football sporadically a couple of times before. We went from stadium to stadium to watch amatuer football at some JCs or smaller stadiums like Serangoon stadium, but this time it was different. Hougang was battling Tampines at hougang stadium and the talk of the town was that Jermain Pennant, an ex-Arsenal player was playing for Tampines. This time, I wouldn't bring my laptop to do work at the stadium.


My old man and I bought some snacks and curry puffs from the nearby shop and settle ourselves into the stadium. Ticket prices were cheap and the tickets looked like old-school train tickets. I've always found stadiums a bit too stuffy and warm, like many other Singaporean fans, so we sat at the 'gallery side' of the stadium. The 'gallery' at hougang stadium was just a makeshift podium of benched seats and behind it was a wire gate and no buildings until after the traffic junction. When the cold evening air blew, you could feel it's full force. Bliss.


The match was starting and you could see droves of people in black with orange scarves. Weird, I thought. I've watched a few Sengkang Marine matches back in the day, there was almost always no fans. I used to find it boring which is why I never went to hougang stadium since. The match kicked-off with not just a racuous applause, but with coordinated chanting of the fans in black and orange.


" And it's Hougang united, Hougang united FC, we're by far the greatest team, the S'league's ever seen " — the hougang fans

That's the cheer I heard and I thought these guys were taking a piss at Jermaine Pennant because these are british chants. But the choreo of british chanting led on throughout the night air, throughout the whole match. All in-sync and in harmony. Good company, good comfort food, good medley of chanting and the cool night breeze. It was beautiful.


What was even spectacular was the players on the pitch. The hougang players looked so determined. They chased Tampines everywhere in the park and the counter-attacks by our boys were swift and thrilling, I couldn't help but jump off my feet several times.


Since when did a team based in hougang play this well? so ferocious.


Alas, the match ended in a stalemate that really really should've been Hougang's. Jermaine Pennant was anonymous and ineffective. The singing still went on.


I came for Jermain Pennant, but I ended up staying for the hougang fan atmosphere from the hardcore fans and the never-say die attitude of the players. Simply, wow. That night, I was sold.


"...atmosphere from the hardcore fans and the never-say die attitude of the players. Simply, wow. That night, I was sold."

From then on, I always hid in the corner, quietly enjoying the atmosphere and the football that is hougang united and hougang HOOLs. I didn't go hougang stadium everytime, but when I do, I enjoyed it. Some might find it obnoxious but I found it stress relieving. Amidst the tumultous, hectic pace of Singapore, I can rest and relax and watch some entertaining, thrilling football...with an epic atmosphere.


Zoom forward to 2023 and I find myself in the thick of supporting Hougang. The epic atmosphere is accompanied with good company. We eat together pre-match and enjoy the game together during the match. We leave the craziness of work behind, all the backstabbing colleagues, condescending bosses, to cheer for our team. This is our safe space.


So this I remember everytime I ask myself: "Why do hougang supporters make the cross-country trip to hougang stadium?". The answer is, that this makes us happy. This is our safe space and this is why we do it.


"...this makes us happy. This is our safe space and this is why we do it."

— from editor

The sun has finally set on our beloved Hougang stadium as we are rumored to move to the new Punggol Regional Sports Centre in the near future. It is a sad feeling but hopefully new memories will be built at Punggol RSC in due time. At least, for now, we still have our comrades/kakis. Hope new fans will join us, lend your voices, enjoy the company. The atmosphere will never die.

This is home. Credit to hgfc.com

35 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

Comments

Rated 0 out of 5 stars.
No ratings yet

Add a rating
bottom of page