FeatureWe Love You Liverpool: Meet Official LFC Supporters Club... Gozo
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 Gozo...
Firstly, can you introduce yourself – tell us a little bit about who you are and where you are from...
My name is Anthony, and I am part of OLSC Gozo. I am from the Island of Gozo, which is a small island that forms part of the Maltese archipelago. Being a small island with around 30,000 inhabitants, most of the people who hail from the island know each other, thus forming a unique bond between people, especially those who follow Liverpool.
Our love for Liverpool runs deep in Gozo, with a large following on the island being supporters of our glorious team. I started following the Reds in the early 1990s when the team’s fortunes were on the decline. Despite the adverse fortunes of the team on the pitch, I fell in love with Liverpool and have been following the team fervently since then.
Tell us about OLSC Gozo…
The OLSC in Gozo was established back in 1997, stemming from a larger OLSC that was already operating on the island of Malta. Due to the geographical nature of the two islands, our club was given special dispensation by Liverpool FC to operate despite the close geographical proximity to the club in Malta. Currently, the club has close to 300 members, with a good number of them being quite active during activities held by the supporters’ club. Official recognition was sought from the OLSC network back in 2006.
How do you bring 'Anfield' to Gozo?
Our OLSC is literally a mini-Anfield, with a life-size statue of Bill Shankly standing proudly outside of our dedicated premises and a replica of the Shankly Gates set in place. During the past few years we have also hosted a large number of ex-Liverpool players, where our members have had chance to meet and greet their heroes.
How special is it to have a feel of 'Liverpool' despite being in Gozo?
As explained beforehand, the small size of the island gives members in our OLSC a feeling of belonging, creating a homely environment where one can follow the Reds along with other like-minded supporters. The good relationships held with the club through the OLSC network has enabled us to present our members with opportunities to meet Liverpool ambassadors over the years. Furthermore, our OLSC plays hosts to one of the largest collections of memorabilia and mementos related to the team stemming back to the 1970s.
Do you hold any special events throughout the season, or for games?
The club hosts live screenings of every Liverpool match, including any friendly that the first team plays, irrespective of the time difference – pre-season matches are screened even during the early hours of the day. Furthermore, we regularly organise get-togethers where members can meet each other in a more relaxed environment. We also reach out to the community in general, locally, and abroad, through blood donations, mission funds and charity events to support those in need. We have also organised LFC international soccer school training camps in collaboration with the LFC Foundation.
What is so unique about being a Liverpool supporter for your members?
Members of our club consider themselves as part of a family. We are there for each other and friendships that stem around Liverpool supporters tend to grow and develop beyond football. Liverpool fans are amongst the most passionate out there and the connection that there is between them is unique.
Has the OLSC ever visited Anfield? If so, what was the experience like?
Our OLSC has been organising annual tours to Anfield since 2007. Through these tours, members get the opportunity to travel to Liverpool to watch a game accompanied by friends and family. Tour pictures are proof of the level of satisfaction that these experiences generate amongst our members. Our favourite memory from recent history is the recent visit to watch Liverpool play Manchester United at Anfield in January 2020, where a number of Gozitan fans experienced Alisson Becker’s amazing assist to Mohamed Salah. Since our OLSC’s inception, Liverpool have won eighteen trophies, which is incredible.
If anyone is interested in joining your OLSC, how would they go about doing so?
We welcome anyone at our club. If someone is interested in joining, they are welcome to visit our dedicated premises on matchday, or during any of the numerous activities that we organise to fill in a membership form. Having said that, we would also like to welcome Reds from all over the world who might be on holiday in Gozo to join us and share the matchday experience.
Name: OLSC Gozo
Location: Gozo, Malta
Home bar: 31 Vjal Il-Labour, Ix-Xewkija, Malta
Facebook: OLSC Gozo branch