Fan Focus Chairman of the Board, No not Sinatra.

Welcome back Indy Reds to another edition of our Fan Focus. This week in honor of gaining OLSC status I thought that I would get in on the fan focus action. I added a little backstory for how LFC Indy started for those that wanted to know the story. Over the past year I’ve met quite a few of you Indy Reds and some of these questions and answers have been done in person but for those that haven’t thought I would “pull back the curtain” a little. Hope you enjoy.

Name: Nile Smith @liketheriver
sidechi

What are the origins of LFC Indy?
Well it was pretty random. I was on twitter and facebook and noticed all of these other cities had accounts set up for LFC fans(LFCNY, LFC Chicago etc) I already was tweeting about LFC related things on my account(which most of my followers didn’t like) So in September of 2013 I started a twitter account called LFC Indy. At first the whole point of it was to just tweet about LFC related things and try and get some other LFC fans together in the mornings at the bar to watch a match and talk Liverpool. Little by little more and more people started following and more interaction was happening so I looked into what it would take to get a Supporters Club started in the city. At first glance it looked like an unlikely task. Had to have at least 50 people in the group and 15 of those people had to have LFC memberships(About a $40 investment for an International Membership)
First we needed a home pub so after about a month of going to different Pubs I decided to land on Union Jack pub to be the home place. Chatham downtown would of been great but Chelsea, Arsenal & Spurs all have supporters clubs that meet there and I was kind of selfish I wanted a place to call our own, plus it is only 21+ and it is a little smaller. Chatham in Fishers almost became the choice because it is spacious and they do allow all ages but it just seemed like a long ways away. So Union Jack seemed like a happy medium. It is in Broad Ripple, they have great food and beer. They had young owners who took over and nobody else was going there.
Once that happened things started to snowball and escalate quickly(faster and more organized than I ever expected) We started getting a lot of followers on the twitter page and then LFC announced they were coming to the USA for a summer tour and wanted to interview some supporters and for some reason they picked me. The exposure we got for being on the website exploded. Around this same time Indy Eleven was getting ready to start so lots of soccer fans were together and Indy Reds starting meeting each other. More and more people wanted to be a part of it and were buying LFC memberships and we blew away the number required to become a Supporters Club. More and more people started showing up to matches and here we are today still growing. Still amazed that it grew that fast in one small year.


First LFC memory?
08/30/2003. I was a freshman in college at Baldwin-Wallace in Cleveland. I walked out into the commons room area in our dorm and there was a soccer game on. Red v Blue. It was the Merseyside Derby. I sat down and watched the match and watched LFC win 3-0. I was hooked.

How did you pick Liverpool as your team? It was the perfect match. Where I grew up in the Amish Country of Ohio(Holmes County!!) nobody really ever played or watched any soccer at all so I was never exposed to it at a young age to fall in love with it and play it. Growing up in Ohio I was brought up a die hard Cleveland Sports fan. Yes a horrible thing to do to a child as you may know Cleveland sports is sometimes nicknamed “The Factory of Sadness” Cleveland teams used to be all very good and won some championships back in the old days and then they also had lots of times where they were so so close to winning and being the factory of sadness they would come up short(The Shot, The Fumble, Red Right 88, Jose Mesa, The Decision, the list goes on) Cleveland fans though are a very proud bunch and they support their teams through the best times and the worst times and those teams are steeped in history and tradition. Long story short after I saw that first LFC match I dug into the club and wanted to know the roots/history of it. Only thing I knew about Liverpool was The Beatles were from there and I loved them. They were also Red. Which it sounds small and petty but that was a major factor. Red is my favorite color. I am an Ohio State fan so Red over Blue is something ingrained in you too. I started to see some similarities between my beloved Cleveland teams and LFC. Both had very rich histories and were at a time in the past kings of their sports, then of recent they both had chances to win but came up short but the fans always stuck by them. The more I learned about the club and the more I watched them the more I grew to love them.

Favorite LFC memory?
Lots of great memories especially here of recent. Hard to not say Istanbul though here. That will be a game that goes down in History as THE single best comeback in sports history and one of the most exciting matches of all time. So that is obviously up there. Also up there was seeing Liverpool in Chicago. I was lucky enough that I got to go see training the day before the match, so it was a great experience to see the team up close with a very small crowd and hear & see the players and coaches interact with each other and also with the fans. Will never forget we were singing a Steven Gerrard song and the one and only Stevie just looked up right as and smiled and gave the thumbs up. Getting the email that said the LFC wanted to offer LFC Indy official supporters club status will always be a fond one too.

Do you have any superstitions or traditions you do/have for each match?
Have to listen to You’ll Never Walk Alone. I kiss the Liverbird on my scarf before kickoff.

Where were you during Istanbul?
I was at our home pub Union Jack. Rough rough 1st half and I was drowning myself in a few pints thinking, yep I’m destined to never see one of the teams I support win anything. Then Holy Moly, that 2nd half. I can still watch that 2nd half and get excited and cheer watching it. Had plenty of beers to celebrate and luckily I lived in the neighborhood area so I was able to make a stop at the Red Key as well to celebrate.

Favorite Current Player and Why?
Stevie G will always be my favorite player because he was one of the 1st players I watched and he has been the ultimate Liverpool player and he is freaking Stevie G you can’t put into words what he means to the club and fans. Other than Stevie, Raheem Sterling & Daniel Sturridge are two players I love to watch.

If you could meet or have dinner with any LFC player/manager ever who it would it be & why?
Bob Paisley. He seems like someone who would of been excellent to just belly up to the bar and have some beers and chat with. I’m sure he has phenomenal stories of those great teams he was associated with.

Favorite LFC kit ever?
2008-2012 Adidas Home kit was one of the best ever. Simple, clean Looked sharp. 87-89/08-09 Gray away kits were great. Then I do have a soft spot for the 95-96 Green&White Quarters away kit. I for some reason love the quarters design. Would love to see that brought back.
2009 kitquarter

You are Owner of Liverpool for 1 day what do you do?
First order of business is give myself a job with the club so when the day ends I still work for LFC.
Second order of business is make sure LFC tour the USA in 2016 & have a stop in Indy.
Third open up a USA based academy in Indy. To home grow some players from the USA to join LFC in the future. Bring over some former players Rush, Barnes, Fowler to be coaches/advisors.

Where do you go to get your LFC news/info?
Twitter mostly. Liverpool website, This is Anfield.

LFC have just won the league, where are you going for a celebration dinner in Indy Area?
Celebrating with quite a few pints and a pizza at Union Jack. Then once I get home Chips, Salsa, Queso, Quesadilla A La Diabla from Fiesta Ranchera. More pints. Then next day more celebration with meal downtown.

Newest Signing or Young Player you are looking forward to seeing this year play?
Before season started it was Ibe, but then we sent him on loan. He was a fun one to watch in training in Chicago. Emre Can was a player I want to see play some more. He is just a big bull who is fun to watch.

Favorite LFC Goal?
So many great goals. Long strikes by Stevie, that chip from Suarez v Norwich. One goal that I really liked that I always think of is Daniel Sturridge v Stoke in December of 2014. Ball got played into Studge in the box he hits it GK saves it ricochets off the post, Studge is now past the end line sees the ball, slips but gets up and bounces the ball off his head like a circus seal and then drops it to his foot and puts in the goal. It was just that determination that “I’m going to score this goal and not let up” that I loved.
Video below at the 2:00 minute mark.

Have you ever seen LFC play in person?
I have. When they came to Chicago I saw them train and then also watched the game the next day. Great experience. Got to meet Brendan Rodgers and he signed my scarf. Met lots of supporters and some of the other chairmen of other supporters clubs from throughout the USA. Got to sing YNWA which was great.
PROGRAM
I never expected for them to put this in the Program for the USA tour. If you were at Chicago you saw me geek out when I saw it.

What other sports do you follow or hobbies do you have?
I follow all Cleveland sports(Indians, Cavs, Browns) Ohio State Buckeyes, Indy Eleven, I also follow the Pittsburgh Pirates close too, My wife and her family are from the Pittsburgh area and then the AAA team is here in Indy and I’m an Usher at Victory Field on the side so I have grown to love watching their prospects and players.
I enjoy a good beer. I still like to get out there and play some rec league softball & I played in the Indy City Futbol this past summer. When I went to veg out I have an Xbox One so you will see me playing FIFA & some RPG’s.
Other than that I am married and we have a 2 1/2yr old daughter Chaylee and as of writing this in a few days my wife will give birth to our second child a Baby Boy named River. I love spending time with our little family so that takes up majority of my time.
chay

Best Local Indy Area Beer to have during an LFC match?
Mashcraft on the Southside had a Scots Ale earlier this year that was one of the best beers I’ve had. I usually lean towards a porter or red style beer but the great thing about Union Jack is they always have a great rotating tap list so it gives you the chance to try lots of different beers.

What makes you most proud to support LFC?
The phrase “You’ll Never Walk Alone” It truly is the calling card of the club. It is that sense of community and family when you support LFC.

Best thing about being an Indy Red?
Proud that we are an OLSC and that we got it so fast. Great being able to watch matches and interact with so many different people in the city.
Thanks everyone again for helping us get to official status.

Reminder Saturday 7:45am kickoff. Get to Union Jack for the match to celebrate us becoming an OLSC. I will be bringing in donuts for the early morning match. UJ’s will obviously have the beer and coffee flowing. Should be a good crowd there since we are playing the team that is easy to hate(and for good reason) CFC.  All ages welcome. Get out there and meet some of your fellow Indy Reds and kick your weekend off right with some Indy Reds and 3 points.

 

 

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