Friday, June 10, 2011

Characters at Thai Football Games - Part One (The Farangs)

For those of you that have been to watch a Thai football game, you will notice that there are an abundance of characters in attendance. I thought I'd take a closer look at some of the people who go to watch Thai football. 

The first part is dedicated to the Westerners or 'farang' as they are affectionately known in Thailand. 

Listed below are 4 foreign characters that you are likely to see in Thai stadiums.


Jack the Lad
Jack the Lad is a 20’s something who has been living in Thailand for 18 months or so. He is having the time of his life and still believes the girls in Soi Cowboy when they call him “handsome man.” Jack’s match day generally begins with a 3pm rise after a heavy night out partying. When he arrives at the stadium he’s feeling pretty rough but after a couple of beers he’s ready to go again. Any cheerleader or promotion girl who is unfortunate enough to catch his eye will be subjected to his smooth chat up lines. Once inside the stadium, Jack will head straight for the singing section. After joining in with a few of the regular Thai chants, Jack will want to initiate the singing. He usually fails to start a chant off, although it should be noted that he will be received with warm smiles and acknowledgement from the Thais in attendance.


Football Expert
The farang expert is a growing presence now in Thai football. He is a few years older than Jack the Lad and has mellowed with his lengthy stay in Thailand. He was an avid follower of football back in his home country and has suffered years of pain and misery following his local team. His newly adopted Thai team has given him the opportunity to start afresh. However, the novelty has quickly worn off and he is becoming more and more frustrated with his new Thai side. On match day, he is easy to spot when the teams emerge onto the pitch, as he will be frantically trying to work which players are involved and what the formation will be. During the game he will be either be applauding enthusiastically or scratching his head with bemusement. 


The backpackers are recognizable by their Khaosan Road attire, day packs and large bottles of water. They will be sporting a broad smile and will want to exchange pleasantries in Thai with the locals. From the outside they appear happy but inside they are deeply worried as their trip to the football has overspent their weekly budget by 40 Baht.


"He is not a farang"
This person is similar to Matt Lucas’ Little Britain character “I’m the only gay in the village.” He hates all of the aforementioned people mentioned above as he reckons they are stealing his thunder with the Thai public. He will only speak with Thais because he doesn’t want to be associated with the foreign riff-raff. Before the game, he is usually milling around the main entrance to the stadium hoping to catch the attention of players and club officials. In any consequent discussions regarding Thai football, he will constantly refer to any staff connected to his club by their first name as he wants everybody to know how important he is.


  1. Ha-ha! But you forgot 'The Stressed Working Man' who turns up late, sweaty, out-of-breath and in full office attire. May or may not have the kids dumped on him by the wife for the evening, too.

    Looking forward to some of the Thai fan stereotypes. I can think of a few myself. Keep up the good work.

  2. Thanks Vinnie. There are plenty of Thai stereotypes out there just waiting to be written about. You only have to look at Muangthong, Thai Port and Buriram. They are 3 totally contrasting supports with lots of different characters.

  3. The guys who start the chants at any given club are an interesting bunch. Obviously madly keen on their respective clubs and yet they are prepared to spend the whole match looking away from the pitch!