After a period with Dulwich Hamlet and Stevenage Borough, Hedman sought his next big step – but the opportunity that arrived may have been a bigger step than he was anticipating. A new world of football, recreation and cuisine awaited.
“I just wanted a change for the family, that was all,” says Hedman, remarkably blasé about the decision to uproot and move nearly 6,000 miles away. “I was out of work, and the opportunity came along.
“[Former Palace goalkeeper] Perry Suckling was out there as well, and he’s the one who gave me the phone call. Glyn Hodges came out as well. They were the only Palace connections.
“My daughter was only eight months at the time, so it wasn’t that much of an upheaval in that sense: I didn’t have to get them out of school. That made the decision much easier.
“I went out to Hong Kong just before the handover [of sovereignty to China] in 1997. I ended up joining Tsing Tao.”