Hi there Indy Reds! I hope everyone is enjoying the Klopp mania still. Bright future for LFC is coming.
The reason for the post today is after a lot of prayer and thought is to tell everyone that I, Nile Smith the founder and chairman of LFC Indy will be stepping down before the end of this year.
For those that don’t know the story of OLSC Indianapolis, a little over 2 years ago at the start of the 2013 season I started a random Twitter page called @LFCIndy. I created the page to tweet about and talk about all things LFC so I wouldn’t blow up my own timeline with it. Also I created it in the hopes that a few other passionate LFC fans would want to get together occasionally at a bar and watch our beloved Redmen play. Over the past 10 or so years that I have lived in Indy I would notice people randomly out and about with a LFC shirt on and give them the obvious shout of ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone” etc or see some people during a big match when stopping in at Chatham or UJ’s. Little did I know how MANY of you LFC supporters were out there.
It was the perfect storm that was happening when LFC Indy was created. NBC just got the rights to the EPL and ALL matches were being shown live here in the USA.
After a few weeks of the page being active LFC started to have that magical season of 2013/2014 where we all “believed.” The amazing play by Suarez and Sturridge will be remembered for a long time.
That helped to have more eyes fixed on LFC and we gained a little bit of momentum early. Also at the time Indy was getting ready for their new professional soccer team Indy Eleven to start playing in the spring, and World Cup was coming up that summer, so excitement for soccer was pretty big in the city. In 2013 really the only 2 places to go watch a match in the morning was Chatham Downtown and Chatham Fishers. Around this time Jay and Chelsea took over Union Jack Pub and they were interested in bringing a soccer community back to UJ’s. The American Outlaws were going there for some of the World Cup qualifying matches. I reached out to Jay and asked if they would be willing to open up early and have the audio on for LFC matches and he agreed. We were the first EPL Supporters Club to call UJ’s home. It became our Indy Anfield. It was a pretty perfect match. As most of you know Chatham downtown is the home to the Chelsea, Spurs & Arsenal supporters clubs plus it is owned by a Man U fan so obviously that wasn’t going to work plus it is 21+ there and I wanted ALL to be welcome at matches. Chatham Fishers seemed like a good match since all ages would be welcome and they had the Chatham name but to be honest I live on the near southside and I really didn’t want to drive all the way up there to watch a match. Also the week I went there it was in the early stages of LFC Indy and it was an early match and only 2 of us showed up. So we landed on Union Jack Pub. It is in Broad Ripple so it is pretty easy for most to get to in the city and it is a local place and it has a unique set up inside and there were no other supporters clubs calling it home so it seemed like a great match.
Then a few things happened that I could have never imagined. LFC announced they would be coming to America during that upcoming summer and they were coming close to us in Chicago. Because of this LFC asked a few American fans how they came to love LFC and different questions about the club(If you’ve ever read one of our Fan Focus profiles on here it was basically that). Well somehow LFC contacted me and asked if I would participate. I was then featured on the LFC website and later on during that summer actually in the Matchday Program for the USA tour. That exposure made our page BLOW UP and we saw a huge jump in followers and interaction.
The next thing that helped us gain exposure was local author and celebrity John Green started to mention us & talk to us on Twitter. He has an obscene amount of people that follow him so that exposure once again sent a lot of eyes towards us.
As the season progressed we had more and more people showing up and the atmosphere that you see today at UJ’s started to take shape. I can honestly say that going to a match at Union Jack when LFC is playing(especially one of the larger matches) is one of the best places and experiences you can have in Indy without actually being inside a stadium. We have had some great crowds. The match v City in 2013/2014 season with the Coutinho winner UJ’s was a mad house. For the season opener this year we had a crazy amount of people show up.
Since then we have continued to grow rapidly. In early 2014 we were continuing to grow very fast and we made the decision to apply to become an Official Supporters Club through LFC and we were granted that status on our first attempt. We created this website and our Facebook page to go along with our main twitter page to make our network of Indy Reds bigger. We are up to 1300 followers on Twitter which is mind blowing to me and we have nearly 200 people in the Indy area who are LFC fans that we have identified on our Social Media channels. We have a wide variety of supporters. Male and Female. Young and Older. We have people who were born and raised Hoosiers to people who were born and raised in Liverpool who now live in Indy. We have fans from all over the globe that call Indy home now and are LFC Supporters. China, South Africa, Ireland, England, Mexico etc.
In the short 2 years we have existed we have had tailgate gatherings at Indy Eleven matches. Have had t-shirts made. Participated in a supporters club futsal tournament. Had Scarves made(very proud moment seeing that) We have had two of our supporters(myself & Bryan) featured on LFCTV. We have been featured on NBC Sports and mentioned by countless former players and media people. It has been a good first few chapters for us.
My decision to step down is I believe I have taken the Supporters Club as far as I can at this stage of my life and I don’t have the same amount of time to dedicate to the club. There has been some changes at my work and much more responsibility has been placed on me and I have two small children so my time I have is much more limited and I feel that I can’t take the Supporters Club to it’s next level.
The plan is to find a new chairman and someone to take over by Christmas time. If you would be interested please contact me either through email at LFCIndy7@gmail.com or message me on Facebook or Twitter. I promise to the new chairman they won’t be left high and dry. I will provide you with all the resources you need and you will have access to all of the accounts I have created and all of the contacts with LFC and I will be more than happy to answer questions and advise you along the way.
The new chairman will be in for a heck of a first year. With Klopp now our manager there is a lot of excitement around LFC and a bright bright future ahead. Also LFC will be coming to America next summer(not official yet but there is a 97% chance it is happening) So there is even more room to grow and improve the club.
I have been blessed to be able to have the chance and time to create and grow this Supporters Club over the last two years. It has been challenging but very fun at the same time to get this off the ground and I’m very happy with where we are at today and look forward to being a fan and a supporter still and still coming out to matches. It has been great meeting so many new people and seeing the love of LFC grow in the city.
I would like to thank all of the Indy Reds for their massive support over the last 2 years and the great interactions we’ve had and the continued support you’ve shown us and UJ’s. I would like to thank a few folks individually.
Jay & Chelsea and the Staff of Union Jack Pub: Thank you for always opening up early. Even when it was a 7-8am match and it was snow out and only 3 of us showed up to watch the match. Over the last 2 years Union Jack has been turned into a go to place not just for LFC fans but all soccer fans. It is great to see a place that LFC fans can go and know they are welcome and cheer on their team and at the same time have some tasty food and drinks.
Bryan Smith & Jim Dimitri: These two guys were some of the first people on Twitter that I interacted with. They have a great knowledge and love of LFC and are just two great dudes. They were a couple of the first fan focus profiles we did. They could always be counted on to have some great match commentary and beer sharing with too.
They have helped to bring people in and organize Indy Eleven tailgates we’ve had and have always been great supporters and great stewards of the LFC Indy name around the city.
Rustin Kratz & Jordan Green: These two in the early days of LFC Indy I know I could count on no matter the match or weather or time they were going to be at Union Jack’s watching. Their early support made me want to continue with the supporters club and get more and more people out to the pub for matches. Rustin I have known for some time now, he was the first LFC fan I met when I moved to Indy. Jordan helped to bring that stadium atmosphere to UJ’s by being loud and always wanting to sing.
Once again thank you again to everyone who has followed us and who has interacted with us online and in person. We have created something special and something big and I look forward to watching the Supporters Club continue to grow and we are close to if not the biggest Supporters Club in the city(not counting obviously Indy Eleven support) I look forward to helping to select the next chairman of LFC Indy and look forward to seeing where the Supporters Club goes from here.
YOU’LL NEVER WALK ALONE