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A Championship Manager player travelled from China to England to meet his team

Photo via @HuangAndersson

Photo via @HuangAndersson

People take games like Championship Manager and Football Manager pretty seriously, but probably not quite as seriously as Huang Wenbin, a Chinese player who travelled to the UK to see the team he manages virtually. They’re called Runcorn Linnets, and if you’ve never heard of them, that’s probably because you don’t follow the North West Counties Football League. 

Even here in the UK, you’d be hard pressed to find many people who have heard of the Runcorn Linnets outside of North West England. And the city of Xiamen in China. 

Wenbin became aware of the team while playing Championship Manager 3, the series that would eventually be turned into Football Manager when developer Sports Interactive split up with the series’ then publisher, Eidos Interactive.

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Visiting his favourite team wasn’t the only reason for his family vacation to the UK, obviously, but it’s unlikely he would have visited Runcorn, Cheshire for any other reason. No offence, Runcorn, I’m sure you’re great. 

Runcorn Linnets should maybe consider hiring Wenbin, as screenshots from the game reveal that he’s a pretty good manager. He even managed to get Ryan Giggs and Steven Gerrard to play for the team. 

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Wenbin headed to Runcorn with his family after watching a game in Liverpool, but he missed his bus and got a bit lost, he told The Mirror

"We all breathed a sigh of relief when we saw that someone was waiting for us in front of the stadium. We spent over 24 hours to arrive in Liverpool from Xiamen in China."

He got a tour of the club, met the club chairman, and even got to kick a ball around with his son on the pitch, though lamentably, he never got to watch a game. 

This isn’t unheard of, either. A year ago, strategy streamer Quill18, who plays a lot of Football Manager, took a detour so he could visit his team, Scotland’s Ayr United, when he was on holiday from Canada. 

Cheers, Deadspin.

Fraser Brown

Fraser is the UK online editor and has actually met The Internet in person. With over a decade of experience, he's been around the block a few times, serving as a freelancer, news editor and prolific reviewer. Strategy games have been a 30-year-long obsession, from tiny RTSs to sprawling political sims, and he never turns down the chance to rave about Total War or Crusader Kings. He's also been known to set up shop in the latest MMO and likes to wind down with an endlessly deep, systemic RPG. These days, when he's not editing, he can usually be found writing features that are 1,000 words too long. He thinks labradoodles are the best dogs but doesn't get to write about them much.