FeatureWe Love You Liverpool: Meet Official LFC Supporters Club... Bangalore
Liverpool FC has more than 300 Official LFC Supporters Clubs (OLSCs) across 100 countries worldwide.
The Reds' fanbase is famous for its passion and loyalty, cheering on both Jürgen Klopp and Matt Beard's squads whether on Merseyside or watching from afar.
Our We Love You Liverpool feature aims to bring supporters closer together to learn more about each other wherever they are based around the globe.
Whether in the UK and Republic of Ireland, on Merseyside itself, in North or South America, Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia or elsewhere, fans provide the very foundations that the club is built on.
Here, we meet OLSC Bangalore…
Tell us about the OLSC…
Our Supporters Club started with a few Liverpool fans happening to run into each other at a sports bar in Bangalore in 2010. A couple of repeat visits to the same bar for games eventually grew into a small community of friends that got together to watch matches. Over the course of the next few years, we slowly grew in numbers and built an online presence. We eventually grew into our thousands and applied to be an OLSC in 2013, receiving our official status the following season in 2014.
How special is it to have a feel of 'Liverpool' despite being in Bangalore?
Being able to celebrate in the wins, whine about the losses and complain about how late kick-offs can be in India (past the hours sports bars in Bangalore are allowed to stay open) really helped bind us together, and make us feel like we can recreate a little piece of the Anfield atmosphere in our city.
In 2014, there was a moment that really made us realise how big a community we'd become. We somehow managed to pack over 300 of us into a bar to watch Liverpool take on Manchester City. You could feel the nerves and the tension throughout the game. And when Philippe Coutinho scored the winner to make it 3-2, the place exploded. We'd never noticed how we grew from four people in a bar of 300 screaming fans until that moment.
Why do you think Liverpool fans - no matter where they are from around the world - are so passionate and loyal to the club?
In general, hardships and sorrow unite fans. It's fortunately a strong foundation for community building and OLSC Bangalore was a benefactor of this. The struggles that the club went through - particularly between 2008 and 2012 - felt like it cemented that relationship with the club. Almost all of us have never been to the city of Liverpool and don't have parents that shaped us into supporting this team. It takes little moments that make us fall in love with it.
The 2001 FA Cup final, the 2005 Champions League final, or something as simple as watching the fans in full voice singing You'll Never Walk Alone at the start of the game. When you fall in love with the club thanks to these little things, and endure through the tougher times, it really cements your love. Like any relationship, it's the good times and the testing times that strengthen the bond.
Has the OLSC ever visited Anfield?
We've had members take advantage of the OLSC ticket allocation scheme to visit the stadium over the last few years. Do you know how living out dreams can sometimes be underwhelming, or how meeting your heroes could be a disappointment? It has been nothing like that. There's magic about game days. The random conversation with strangers on the train to Liverpool, the 917 from Lime Street to Anfield, the buzz around the stadium in the build-up to the game, the pre-match routines, the screams and grunts with every slide tackle and referee decision - it's surreal, it's incredible!
One of the best games we've been to would be the Wolves game at the end of the 2021-22 season, when Aston Villa went 2-0 up against Manchester City and we were trailing, but possibly in the running to win the title. The rollercoaster of emotions in that game was insane. At the end of it, there was nothing but love for the team despite just missing out on the title.
How has it been to follow the club in recent history?
For most fans it feels like a dream. From the struggles of the 2010s to the various heartbreaks up until 2018, and the success from 2019 onwards is the stuff of dreams. Jürgen Klopp is worshipped among the fans. Most of the fans associated with OLSC Bangalore will tell you how important weekly screenings are to their weekend routine.
If anyone is interested in joining your OLSC, how would they go about doing so?
The simplest way to join us would be, firstly, to join us for one of our official screenings. Lots of new fans approach us gingerly, and in no time are singing the praises of our boys in red!
There are solitary fans, new to the city with no-one to call as friends. After half a season, they find a new social circle to call their very own. One particular incident was when a boy no older than 20, from a small town called Thanjavur about 400km away from Bangalore, wanted to watch the European Cup final in 2019.
We brought him under our wing and invited him to his very first screening experience, which coincidentally happened to be the largest (in terms of attendance) screening that OLSC Bangalore has arranged. He was awestruck by the sheer number of the Reds gathered under one roof. Rest assured he had one of the most magical moments of his life witnessing the European triumph and listening to the roaring chants of fellow Kopites. Mesmerised by the fireworks and the screaming fan buses, we're sure he gathered enough of a story to tell his friends and family.
Name: OLSC Bangalore
Location: Bangalore, India
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