Its 8:45, on a rainy November morning in New York and there is a small gathering in the Lower East Side within the official Liverpool Supporter’s Club, the 11th Street Bar. Considering the quiet, dark streets outside there is a small and warm gathering taking place inside. A large Liverpool flag is hanging on the wall, a few scattered scarves can be seen along with some cookies and coffee on the side as an offering to those who have braved the storm.
Despite the earlier start due to the time difference, there is certainly not a lack of atmosphere, nor beers being shared out. The pub quickly fills up with excited football (or soccer in this part of the world) fans, many donning their red shirts with an array of names printed on the back.
The supporters club tries to merge the great traditions of both the classic Irish pub and the New York City bar whilst offering visitors the chance to watch all Liverpool games as well as live music entertainment and other themed nights.
Not one to stop the family feeling of the club, the 11th Street bar even asks visitors to bring tinned fruit and other foods for regular food drives for a nearby homeless shelter, claiming they are “proud to represent the best of LFC in NYC!”
The supporters club has some memorabilia hanging from the walls and has a back room which dons more items of interest to fans. This bar has become very popular in recent years, being listed as a tourist attraction on the official LFC Website and even has over 700 members! For big games, the bar can become jammed full of fans and they are even welcome to opposing fans!
There have been many famous faces visit the Official Supporter’s Club including club ambassador, Robbie “God” Fowler who visited the bar in February 2014, speaking to fans and posing for photos.
Former player, Ronnie Whelan visited in early 2013, talking with fans from across the pond. Other former players to visit include Bruce Grobbelaar, Jan Molby, Jimmy Melia, Ian Callaghan and Phil Neal.
Liverpool has a clear relationship with the city of New York, with one of the more famous elements being the Titanic, which was to arrive in New York over 100 years ago. Whilst the ship departed from Southampton, it registered Liverpool as its home port. A huge amount of the ship was created and built in Liverpool, and many of the crew were from Liverpool. There was even a crew passageway named Scotland Road, after the well-recognised street in Liverpool.
It is also believed that current president Barack Obama has a family connection to Merseyside!
During the summer tour, Brendan Rodgers took his red men to the states including New York, which proved to have a strong LFC fan base. This tour included a meet with Manchester City just months after the Reds had come agonisingly close to ending the title drought. The two clubs met at the famous Yankee Stadium, competing in the International Champions Cup in front of nearly 50,000 supporters. The game went down to penalties where Liverpool won 3-1 against their domestic rivals.
During the first team’s trip to New York, Gerrard shared on Instagram a photo of him at the top of the Rockefeller Centre with fellow team mates Ricky Lambert, Adam Lallana and Brad Jones.
Despite the great atmosphere, early excitement within was met by another worryingly poor performance by Liverpool. The fluency and consistency of last season seems to be long in the past after Liverpool fell to yet another defeat. This trip to St James’ Park was concluded by a solitary Ayoze Perez strike, put away in the second half.
This fourth consecutive win for Alan Pardew’s team meant Newcastle now joined Liverpool in the top half of the table and Liverpool slipped 12 points behind leaders Chelsea who seem to be this year’s favourite for the title.
Fans within the Supporter’s Club seemed to remain optimistic with typical American positivity. The Scousers who had also made the journey to watch from the other side of the Atlantic did not seem to harbour the same enthusiasm. An upturn in fortunes cannot be far away and the upcoming festive fixture list offers the perfect opportunity to get things right.
Expertly written by Emma Rhodes
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