Nicky Butt scores on debut for Hong Kong club

Former Manchester United and Newcastle midfielder Nicky Butt scored on his debut for Hong Kong club South China on Tuesday.

By (AP)

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Published: Tue 30 Nov 2010, 10:20 PM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 4:34 AM

Butt equalized with a free kick midway through the second half of the team’s 2-1 win, drawing rapturous applause from the crowd as he sought to impress the club’s owner.

“I enjoyed the goal. It was a nice goal. If I missed, maybe Mr. Lo would kill me,” Butt joked after the first division game, referring to the chairman of South China, Steven Lo.

The 35-year-old former England international has come out of retirement to train with the club for a week, and could sign a long-term contract.

“I enjoyed my time. There’s a lot of things we need to discuss. A lot of things are positive. Hopefully fans enjoyed seeing me play,” Butt said. “Everything’s good.”

Butt played for Manchester United until 2004 when he left for Newcastle. He announced his retirement in May following Newcastle’s promotion to the Premier League, before he received a call from Lo.

The midfielder arrived in Hong Kong on Monday and ran out for his debut the following day.

A crowd of about 8,000 at Hong Kong Stadium gave him a warm welcome as he took the field against TSW Pegasus, cheering twice as loudly when his name was called out before kickoff.

Fans also cheered whenever he got the ball or even went near it, and went wild when he tried to score twice in quick succession. They booed when he was twice penalized for fouls, and when he was given a warning by the referee.

TSW Pegasus opened the scoring in the second half before Butt equalized. South China won the game in extra time.

After the game, Butt shook hands and posed for pictures with fans as he left the pitch.

South China is currently top of the 10-team league.

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