FeatureWe Love You Liverpool: Meet Official LFC Supporters Club... Macedonia
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 Macedonia...
Firstly, can you introduce yourself – tell us a little bit about who you are and where you are from...
My name is Goran, I am from Bitola, and I have served our supporters club for more than 20 years. I have been a Liverpool fan since the late '80s and I am proud to be part of this family.
Tell us about OLSC Macedonia...
Liverpool FC has always had fans in our country who supported the club in their own way, but we have been together now as a supporters club since March 2001. Those were tough times because we had an armed conflict in our country. The love and passion for Liverpool FC brought us together regardless of faith, political beliefs, or nationality, which started a beautiful story of friendship and companionship.
Since then, members of our OLSC every year follow Liverpool FC regularly at all major competitions. We have travelled to Istanbul, Athens, Kyiv, Madrid, Bulgaria, Denmark, Germany, Russia, Italy, Serbia, Portugal, Austria, and lately, Amsterdam. Since we became an official fan club, the dream of being present at Anfield has come true for us. We had the opportunity to watch Liverpool FC also in our country as well in 2010, and last May some of our members made the trip over to be at the victory parade.
In October 2013 our fan club was accepted as an official OLSC in the Liverpool network.
How special is it to have a feel of 'Liverpool' despite being in North Macedonia? What makes it a great OLSC to be a part of?
We all have local clubs that we grew up with and supported but at some point, we decided that this was the one for us. Even if we were not an official fan club, we would do the same things we do now, but the fact that the club recognised and accepted us as an official OLSC raised the whole thing to another level. It has opened different and better opportunities for our members too. There are many fan clubs in our country across all different teams and we are all friends. We usually organise football games with them.
Do you hold any special events throughout the season or meet-ups for games?
As an OLSC we are organised in all major cities in North Macedonia. We literally never miss a game, whether in Ohrid, Veles, Skopje, Kavadarci, Stip, Strumica, Tetovo, Bitola or anywhere else. There is a place where you can watch Liverpool FC games with our members where you are. Irish Pub Five in Ohrid, Ian's House in Veles and Bourbon Street Pub in Bitola are great places to hang out.
We also organise national gatherings where almost all fans from our country meet up, and we also have joint gatherings with fan clubs from Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Serbia and Slovenia – a tradition that must continue and expand with other OLSCs that love wonderful fellowship.
Why do you think Liverpool fans – no matter where they are from around the world – are so passionate and loyal to the club?
There is something special in the club that cannot be described in words, something that has united us, the fans, regardless of where we are from. It doesn't matter if our club has success or not, the passion remains firmly the same.
How do you bring 'Anfield' to North Macedonia?
Over the last 20 years or so we've been watching Liverpool FC matches in various venues, but this year we've taken it a step further and opened our own club, made by the fans for the fans. The club is called Dirty Old Town and is located in Bitola. The entire project is completed and operated on a voluntary basis by our members who help with maintenance and decoration. In the club, all Liverpool FC matches are regularly followed and our OLSC meetings are held there. We also have guests and meetings with various people who are in some way connected with Liverpool FC, and we recently had a promotion of a book written about the club.
Has the OLSC ever visited Anfield? If so, what was the experience like?
Since we have been recognised as an official OLSC for the last 10 years or so, our members have visited Anfield several times.
I personally cannot say about the atmosphere at Anfield because I have not been there yet – it remains on my to-do list! It’s always great when our members are at Anfield. In 2017, members of our OLSC were at the game between Liverpool and Middlesbrough and there was a moment when everyone was seated, and only our member Jofce was standing and singing, then everybody in the stand followed him. That moment was caught live on TV.
If anyone is interested in joining your OLSC, how would they go about doing so?
Every Liverpool fan in North Macedonia is welcome to be a member of our OLSC, it is open to everyone without any obligations. The only thing we ask is that they must respect the policy terms and conditions given to us by Liverpool FC. Full details are on our official website along with who to contact. We encourage our members to buy an official Liverpool FC Membership and thereby have all the benefits of being a member of OLSC.
Finally, is there anything else you'd like to mention?
There are many stories that our members share on our official website www.olscmacedonia.com. I’ll mention a few.
When Liverpool played in our country in 2010 against Rabotnicki, matchday fell on the same day as my wedding. Myself and my wife had no option but to postpone!
In 2014, there were a lot of floods in the Balkans. We all helped each other with donations and every year we also organise various charities where food and clothes are donated, and before every Christmas we also donate toys and packages to a home for orphans.
One of our members, Vladimir, won a contest for the best design of an LFC tattoo in 2019. He got tickets for Man City as a prize but he wasn't able to travel to Liverpool because of visa requirements. The club helped him get there and he is forever thankful.
Finally, another of our members, Ljupco, gave his child the name Steven, and a few years later he had the opportunity to meet Steven Gerrard personally and he gave him an autograph on his arm. The next day he made it a tattoo and posted it on Instagram. Steven Gerrard even liked the photo!
Name: OLSC Macedonia
Location: North Macedonia
Home bar: Dirty Old Town – Bitola