Most Sunday League players dream of a standing ovation at a packed stadium. Henry May has been there and done that – in Argentina.
That is thanks to his unique bond with historic Primera Division side Huracan. May fell in love with the club during a trip to Buenos Aires and named his amateur team after them when he returned to London in 2009.
Huracan FC London were born but that was just the start. The team won an army of fans from the original Huracan on Facebook, their shirt became a collector's item in Argentina and Huracan supporters even made the 7,000-mile trip to Clapham Common to see them in action.
Henry May named his Sunday League side after historic Argentine club Huracan in 2009Insurance Loans Mortgage Attorney Credit Lawyer
Huracan FC London gained fans from the original Huracan and even toured Argentina twice
May and his friends flew out to Buenos Aires at Huracan fans' request – twice. They received a hero's welcome at their 48,000-capacity home ground, played at the stadium and took on the club's reserves. At one point, it looked like they might visit the Falklands to ease diplomatic tensions.
'Huracan means everything to me,' May tells Sportsmail. 'I can't really explain it.
'The first game I went to in 2008 was a life-changing moment, a before and after.
'I love that club, I love those people. I'll do anything for them, I'm in for life now. I've got a Huracan tattoo on my leg!'
May's love affair with Huracan began in November 2008 when he was studying Spanish in Buenos Aires and soaking up the city's football culture. The 22-year-old had been to the likes of Boca Juniors and River Plate, but the glamour of the traditional giants didn't appeal to the Fulham season-ticket holder.
Taxi drivers warned him he would be killed if he went to Huracan's derby with fierce rivals San Lorenzo. He ignored them to go to the match and was instantly taken with the 'quirky' club with a 'proud history', much like his own Cottagers.
A year later, May returned to London as an adopted Huracan fan. He and his friends decided to set up a Sunday League side, and May suggested they name themselves after his Argentine club.
'We were sat in a pub in Clapham and we couldn't think of a name for the team,' he says.Insurance Loans Mortgage Attorney Credit Lawyer
'I told the stories of my time in Argentina and suggested, "Why don't we name ourselves after Huracan?" It sounded a bit different, and my friends said fine.
'I was the manager of the team so had the final say. We wrote it down on the back of a beer mat and sent it off to the Southern Sunday League and became Huracan FC London.'
Argentine fans turned up to watch May and his friends play on the pitches of south London
The story might not have gone much further without the help of Huracan supporter and sports journalist Ariel Schvartzbard. Back at his first derby, May had been approached by an Argentine man. He thought he was going to be robbed; it turned out Schvartzbard just wanted to practise his English.
They stayed in touch through a mutual friend in Buenos Aires, who told Schvartzbard about the Sunday League side named after Huracan. Schvartzbard urged May to set up a Facebook page and then spread the word among the club's fans on a local radio show.
Soon the Sunday League side had 2,500 'likes' from Argentina. Huracan fans used the page to discuss the side's tactics, abuse opposition teams and cheer on their favourite players. Some went even further – quite literally.
'People would write to me saying, "I'm on holiday in Europe, I've changed my plans so I can be in London on Sunday for your game against Melfort Eagles",' May explains.
'I'd say, "Okay, you do know we just play in the park?" And they'd reply, "Yeah, absolutely fine. We love you anyway. We're coming".'
Boosted by Argentine support, May and his friends won their league. So it was only fair they made the return trip to Buenos Aires for a 'pre-season tour' in 2011.
The Sunday League side received a hero's welcome at Huracan's Tomas Adolfo Duco stadium
They could not have anticipated the welcome they received on arrival in Argentina.
'It was ridiculous,' May recalls. 'We were treated like professional footballers.
'It was two weeks of signing autographs everywhere we went, everyone wanted a photo with us. We got a standing ovation in