The Blue Haired Fan celebrates his "infamous birth" at Panaad
by rachel montero and rick olivares with pics by mamae fortit and kevin manalo
Who can ever forget the scene at last year’s AFC Challenge Cup match between the Philippines and Mongolia in Panaad Stadium when a blue haired and face-painted guy came down from the stands and ran around while waving a flag minutes before the match?
The crowd was buzzing with excitement and looking and the guy in face paint surely gave them something to cheer about. But he was escorted out of the field by uniformed policemen and disappeared for some time.
After pleading his case with the local police that he was no troublemaker, he reappeared later in the stands to lead the crowd in cheering for the national team.
That was the Philippines’ introduction to the Blue Haired Fanatic aka Richard “Ebong” Joson.
After pulling such a successful stunt in Panaad, the Blue Haired Fan (BHF) was tasked to lead the Kaholeros, the official booster squad of the Azkals. And he has since been at almost every Azkals match be it in Rizal Memorial Stadium or in Indonesia.
Exactly one year later, the Blue Haired Fan returned to the scene of the crime (as some might say) or his place of origin to celebrate “his birth”.
Sans the wig and face paint, Joson went to back to Panaad Stadium for a celebration that saw not only merriment in drink and song (Kaholeros Bacolod also surprised Joson with a BHF-themed cake) but also an impromptu football match. Joson once donned the colors of Ateneo de Manila and the University of the Philippines during his school days. He has since made a career in doing voice over’s for television and radio commercials as well as hosting events. But because of the events in Panaad last February 9, 2011, Joson has since been catapulted to the forefront of the Philippine football revolution cheering and supporting our national teams as well as football endeavors.
For the football match, BHF teamed up with Kaholeros Bacolod and United FC against Real Bata FC.
A few seconds before half time, Kaholeros Bacolod/Unified FC scored to make it 1-nil, but Real Bata responded three minutes after the resumption of the game for the equalizer. In the 64th minute, Real Bata scored another goal that proved to be the game winner.
The “birthday” celebration continued the following evening at Dugout Bacolod, the home of Kaholeros Bacolod where they partied all night long.