79-year-old ‘Granny Liu’ voted China’s biggest Premier League fan in VisitBritain competition

A 79-year-old grandmother has been named the winner of a VisitBritain competition to find China’s biggest Premier League fan and bring them on a dream football trip to the UK. 

Hong Wen Liu, known as ‘Granny Liu’, was chosen out of more than 600 entries in the competition, run in partnership with the Premier League and Chinese broadcaster SuperSports. To enter, people had to submit videos explaining why they are China’s biggest Premier League fan, with the winner decided by a public online vote in China. 

Having received more than a quarter of the 32,800 votes, Granny Liu is set to arrive in Britain on Friday 31 March for a football-themed trip including VIP seats to an Arsenal vs. Manchester City match and a post-match meet-and-greet with players as well as VIP tours of Arsenal Stadium in London and the Arsenal training ground in Hertfordshire. 

VisitBritain Marketing Director Clare Mullin said: 

“The Premier League has a global fan base of billions and lifelong fan Granny Liu personifies the passion and loyalty that the beautiful game inspires. We are thrilled to be bringing Granny Liu to Britain, the home of football, to experience the amazing moments that can only be had here, from attending a live match and exploring our vibrant football cities to walking in the footsteps of heroes on a stadium tour.” 

The competition is being run as part of VisitBritain’s non-commercial partnership with the Premier League, promoted with the tagline #OMGB ‘Home of Amazing Fans’. 

#OMGB (Oh My GREAT Britain) is the hashtag at the heart of VisitBritain’s global ‘Britain, Home of Amazing Moments’ marketing campaign which highlights the amazing moments that can only be had on a trip to Britain. 

Football is the number one sporting draw for international tourists to Britain. 

More than 800,000 international visitors attended a Premier League football match during their trip to Britain in 2014, and they spent match £684 million. 

VisitBritain has encouraged visitors from all over the world to travel to Britain and enjoy a Premier League football match with its Football is GREAT campaign, as part of its drive to get tourists out exploring more of regional Britain. 

Earlier this month, VisitBritain launched a similar competition to find America’s biggest Premier League fan.

Football is GREAT and #OMGB ‘Home of Amazing Moments’ are part of the UK Government’s global GREAT Britain campaign which showcases what makes Britain a great place to visit, study, invest and do business. 

In 2015 there were 270,000 visits from China to the UK, up 46% compared to 2014. Spend from Chinese visitors was £586 million – up 18% compared to 2014 and moving China into the UK’s top 10 most valuable inbound markets for the first time. 

Last year set a record for inbound tourism overall to Britain with 37.3 million visits, up 3% on 2015 with visitors spending £22.2 billion, matching 2015’s record spend.