Wednesday, June 13, 2007


Thai Farmers Bank FC

Despite living in Asia for several years it took me a long time to really get into the local football scene which, looking back, does seem a bit odd.

Back in my early days I lived in Bangkok. The dominant force in Thai football was Thai Farmers Bank though I never knew till recently how dominant. I knew about them primarily because they had a Club Shop in Siam Square selling pennants and other nick nacks. I didn't know where they played, who their top players were or what the competition was like, the Bangkok Post rarely touched upon Thai football and I couldn't read Thai at the time. Of course there was no internet then!

In the 1990's Thai Farmers Bank strode majestically across not just the Thai scene but also Asia. They won the Thai League four times in six years (90, 92, 93, 95) and the Queen's Cup four times (1994, 1995, 1996, 1997).

They also won the Asian Champions League twice in 1994 and 1995, the only South East Asian to have triumphed. Indeed no team has won the trophy more than TFB though several have also won it twice. Selangor from Malaysia were beaten finalists in the inaugral tournament losing to Hapoel Tel Aviv of Israel!

But there's more! The winners of the Asian Champions Cup used to play off against the winners of the African Champions Cup for the Afro Asian Championship and Thai Farmers Bank were victors in 1994, beating Egypt's Zamelak on away goals. A year later they were beaten 4-1 on aggregate by Tunisian side Esparance, the first leg being held bizaarely in provincial Suphanburi. Or maybe not so odd. Thailand's Prime Minister at the time was the dimunitive Banharn Silpa Archa and his constituency was ...Suphanburi!

Judging by their record, Thai Farmers Bank gave up sponsoring it's football club probably about 1997 or 1998 when the Asian economic crisis struck. The shop closed down and I never got to see probably Asia's most successful club side in action!

Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?