FeatureWe Love You Liverpool: Meet Official LFC Supporters Club... Dubai
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, Africa, Asia, Australia or elsewhere, fans provide the very foundations that the club is built on.
Here, we meet OLSC Dubai...
Firstly, can you introduce yourself - tell us a little a bit about who you are and where you are from...
My name is Neil Briody, current Chairman of OLSC Dubai, also known as the ‘Dubai Reds’. I’m a born and bred scouser and have travelled and worked across the world for the past 30 years, finally arriving in Dubai in 2006.
Tell us about the OLSC Dubai…
OLSC Dubai was formed by a group of LFC loving supporters who regularly joined together to watch games together for many years and decided to formalise this support by becoming an official part of the OLSC network in 2006. We currently have around 300 registered members and a database of over 1,000 members past and present.
How special is it to have a feel of Liverpool despite being in Dubai? What makes it a great OLSC to be a part of?
As we all know Liverpool supporters are incredibly passionate and loyal and being so far from home, we felt it important to provide to our local members, who may never get the chance to visit Liverpool or indeed Anfield, a sense of belonging to the Liverpool family and network.
Dubai is an incredibly diverse community with around 200 different nationalities living in the Emirate and we have a very wide variety of members from many cultural backgrounds and countries. It’s important to provide an environment where everyone feels welcome and the opportunity to be part of an OLSC really helps in this regard.
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Do you hold any special events throughout the season?
We meet up for every single match during the season. We are fortunate that in this region every single Liverpool game is shown live on TV. We also try to set up other events during the season, this has obviously been challenging in recent times, but we’ve had multiple meet and greets with ex-players such as Robbie Fowler, Jamie Carragher, Jerzy Dudek, Roy Evan, Jan Molby, Terry McDermott and Jon Flanagan to name but a few.
We’ve also had golf days and various other social events. We’ve also arranged a few BOSS night events with Jamie Webster. We participated in two five-a-side events held at Anfield, which was an amazing opportunity to play in the stadium.
We also supported the ‘LFC World’ event held in Dubai in 2018 which culminated with 3,000 Liverpool supporters watching our last game of the season on the beach in Dubai and much more recently attended the ‘Dubai Super Cup 2022’ games against Lyon and AC Milan at the Al-Maktoum stadium in Dubai.
What is so unique about being a Liverpool supporter for your members?
It’s that sense of belonging. Liverpool is a unique club with a long-standing history of success but it’s not just the success on the pitch I feel makes being a Liverpool supporter unique. We have our own sense of identity, everyone knows about Liverpool wherever you go in the world, they know our history and they know the passion every Liverpool supporter has for the club.
How do you bring ‘Anfield’ to Dubai?
We decorate our venue with Liverpool flags and memorabilia and make sure before each game we have a playlist of all our favourite Liverpool songs playing to create an atmosphere for our members.
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Has the OLSC ever visited Anfield? If so, what was the experience like?
The OLSC has visited Anfield many times thanks to the allocation of tickets through the OLSC network. I guess one of the favourite memories was our visit for the Champions League semi-final against Barcelona. Many had planned to return for the final Premier League game the following Sunday and at the last minute made changes to travel plans to attend the Barcelona game.
Although 3-0 down any chance to watch Liverpool will be taken by our members and with Liverpool being Liverpool we thought well you never know. What an incredible experience that was, especially when the goals started flowing in the second half and we all started to dream and believe. The atmosphere that night will never be forgotten, and no-one had experienced anything like that before and the rest, as they say, is history…
How has it been to follow the club in recent history? There has been plenty to cheer about under Jürgen Klopp and Matt Beard…
The past few years have obviously been amazing following the team. The success on the pitch was long overdue but I think we all had a feeling when Jürgen joined that something special was going to happen. We had steady progress in the first few years and then finally we achieved what we have all been waiting for, an incredible team fighting on all fronts for major honours, going to toe-to-toe consistently in the Premier League against a world-class team when no other team could match them.
The amazing European nights, attending finals in Kyiv, Madrid, Istanbul and Qatar. It was just a real shame the fans couldn’t be there to finally see the team lift the Premier League trophy at Anfield, but hopefully we can do that with them again in the near future. Also, watching what Matt has also done for the Women’s team has been very impressive and great to see them back in the WSL where they belong.
If anyone is interested in joining your OLSC, how would they go about doing so?
Anyone interested in joining our OLSC can simply visit our website www.dubaireds.com and navigate to the ‘Join Us’ page and fill in a simple form. We will be in contact to complete the process.
Finally, is there anything else you'd like to mention?
One thing that never ceases to amaze me is the lengths some of our members will go to in order to support our team. We had a long-standing member, who unfortunately no longer resides in Dubai, who would go to any lengths to ensure he never missed a match.
One season I think he managed to attend around 53 games home and away plus a pre-season tour. He would do this season after season. He would be very creative when it came to flights, connecting flights and accommodation in order to keep his costs down. We used to joke that there was no need to use the internet or travel websites because we could just ask him, and he would tell you the best and most affordable route to take! What a legend.
Name: OLSC Dubai
Location: Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Home bar: McGettigan’s, Bonington Hotel, Jumeirah Lake Towers, Dubai