In 1986 in the small Thai fishing village of Ko Panyi a group of young boys were watching the World Cup. The boys loved their football and were desperate to play themselves. The only problem was the Ko Panyi had no football pitch. The reason for that was quite a substantial one, there is no land in Ko Panyi, it is a village built on stilts by fisherman.
The boys didn’t let a small problem like land get in their way. They decided that in order to play football they would have to use their ingenuity to build their own football pitch…on water. By collecting planks of wood they managed to build a floating dock to use as a football pitch.
The new pitch soon became a very popular attraction in the village and the boy’s team developed into a very successful one, winning several football tournaments in Southern Thailand. The small pitch and the rough surface probably helped develop the skills of the young players, and the prospect of falling into the water probably helped too!
More recently the pitch has been replaced with a more modern surface but the original is still there and it must be regarded as one of the most unusual football pitches in the world.
A few years ago a short film about the pitch was made by the Thai bank TMB, and it is definitely worth a watch.