FeatureWe Love You Liverpool: Meet Official LFC Supporters Club... Iraq
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 Iraq…
Firstly, tell us a little a bit about who you are and where you are from...
My name is Mustaffa Abood, I am 39 years old from Iraq. I live in Baghdad and I started supporting Liverpool in 1987 when I was five. My father and eldest brother support Manchester United and they tried to convince me to do the same, but my heart was beating to the Liver bird.
My first hero was John Barnes and since then I haven't been able to stop loving Liverpool. One of the happiest days of my life was attending Anfield for the first time in 1988 and also the 2005 Champions League final in Istanbul. I didn't sleep for two days after because we were celebrating. I learned that 'impossible' is not in our dictionary.
Tell us about OLSC Iraq…
The OLSC was a spark in our minds. I was one of the founders, we decided to establish ourselves in 2010 and it started with this question: are we the only Liverpool fans, or are there others? And then we started to look for every Liverpool supporter on social media in every place in Iraq. After that we started watching Liverpool matches together. The first game we saw together was the 2012 League Cup final against Cardiff City. Since then, it has grown bigger with more than 7,000 supporters now. We became an Official Liverpool Supporters Club in 2015. Our red family here may live on the other side of the world to Anfield, but we all have great passion for our club.
How special is it to have a feel of 'Liverpool' despite being in Iraq?
Liverpool is more than just a club; we belong to the biggest family of supporters in the world. If you asked our members what is the happiest thing in their lives they would say supporting Liverpool. It brings us together to watch the matches and if anyone needs help, we'll be there for them, as we will never walk alone. That's our motto and we learned that from Liverpool.
What is so unique about being a Liverpool supporter for your members?
OLSC Iraq seize any chance to attend Liverpool matches. When the team played in Istanbul, we attended the 2019 UEFA Super Cup against Chelsea and in Doha we attended the 2019 FIFA Club World Cup.
Liverpool is so popular in Iraq because of the great history of the club in the '70s and '80s. Everyone here speaks about the famous Bob Paisley and Bill Shankly and what they achieved in that period. Many fans here have a nickname like Keegan, Dalglish or Rush.
How do you bring 'Anfield' to Iraq?
The place where we meet, we call it the 'Iraqi Anfield'. We hang Liverpool flags, have photos of Liverpool players and coaches and there are some quotes from various Liverpool legends. We also sing Liverpool songs and, of course, our anthem: You'll Never Walk Alone.
If anyone is interested in joining your OLSC, how would they go about doing so?
If anyone is interested in joining OLSC Iraq, they can contact us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. After that we invite them to our social channels, and they can then start attending matches with us. We will explain to them how they can buy an official membership and its benefits and the social events we have alongside the charity work we do. For us, Liverpool is not just a club; it's the joy of our life.
Name: OLSC Iraq
Location: Baghdad, Iraq
Home: Sultan Restaurant and Gardens
Facebook: OLSC Iraq