Official Liverpool Supports Club (OLSC) Spotlight: San Diego
Name: Official Liverpool Supporters Club San Diego
Match day Meeting Point: Princess Pub & Grille 1665 India St, in downtown San Diego.
Contact: Steven McGlynn (Founder & Head), Lisa Gaffney (Group Administrator), Jason Keckley (Social Media Manager), Tracy Rojas (Website Manager)
What they’re about:
I’ve been told the best place to start is from the beginning. The group only originally existed because I didn’t want to watch matches alone. Seems simple but I just enjoy watching matches with other people. There was no bigger plan than that. When I lived in San Jose we used to watch matches at O’Flaherty’s and Flames. When I lived in San Antonio, TX I used to drive up every once in a while to Austin to watch with the group there at Cuatros and eventually Fado’s. When I moved to San Diego from San Antonio in December 2013, there was no group but watching by myself wasn’t the same so I decided to start one myself. I met Justin Isaac at Shakespeare’s Pub which has been an incubator for most of the groups in town. We went to different bars and talked to strangers to let them know who we were. We stopped random people on the street wearing LFC gear and let them know to like our Page. We did the ground work to help start building a community. Once I felt comfortable that we would have at least a dozen people show up, I reached out to Dave Evans at Princess Pub. Both Dave and Gerry Kenny are Scousers so they were interested in seeing if we could get something going here. He agreed to open on March 1st2014 for our first match. 13 people showed up that day and Liverpool Football Club won 3-0. Success in my book at the time! On March 30thLFC Los Angeles & LFC Orange County decided to help our cause and packed a bus with about 75 people to drive down and christen our new pub and our new group. Liverpool Football Club beat Spurs 4-0 that day. One of the best memories we have from that first season!
We ended up going 9-1-1 in the final 11 matches of that season. By the 11thmatch we had 100 people show up. Although we’ve had a few away matches watching with other groups at other Pubs, Princess Pub is home. Attendance had its ebbs and flows over the next couple of seasons. But we kept pushing for it to be consistently well-attended. Eventually we were able to build a group of core regulars and foster some great relationships. The atmosphere now is 2ndto no other Pub I’ve been to. We now average 125 people per match. For our biggest matches we are at capacity and they must manage the door. If we were to win the league this year and I was given a free ticket to attend the last match against Wolves at Anfield I would turn it down in order to watch with the crew at Princess Pub. There is just no where else I’d want to be.
Although we had humble beginnings as just a few people who wanted to get together early in the morning and watch football, we’ve become a lot more since. We have raised money and donated to a dozen charitable causes in our community and in the Liverpool community. It’s hard to count them all at this point. We also helped put together holiday charity socials in our city or participated in the Southern California holiday socials to raise money. We’ve hosted Alan Kennedy (who actually also attended a match day with us), Ronnie Whelan and Steve Heighway. We also joined LA, Pasadena & OC in welcoming the 5 Times group to Los Angeles. We’ve gone on the road for three summers for the International Champions Cup friendlies in Chicago, Boston, NY, Charlotte, Ann Arbor, Pasadena, Santa Clara, Seattle, etc. We won the worldwide Junior Membership Competition this season. We do have a family-friendly atmosphere.
We became an “Official Supporters Club” at the beginning of the 2015/2016 season. We were part of LFC California as an OLSC before that, but each of the groups grew big enough that we split into SD, LA, OC, Pasadena, etc.
It’s hard to say how many “members” we have since we never wanted to have an “Official Membership” to join. We always felt that if you come down to the Pub, watch with us, drink with us, and sing with us, then you were one of us. That was what the group is made for from the start. There is 500+ members of our private Facebook group. We do not allow anyone who is not in San Diego to join the private Facebook group. (There are exceptions for people from the early days of the group page before this policy existed, and for our sister groups like AZ, LA, Pasadena & OC who visit often or who we visit.) I’ve taken a lot of guff for this philosophy & policy, but it was honestly one of the best decisions we’ve made about this Club. Our group is one of the most positive I’ve seen. There isn’t trash talking or anything getting out of control because knowing that you live in the same city as the other supporters and are going to see them on weekends to watch, drink and sing with, makes everything much more personal.
Fourteen of us from LFCSD went over to Anfield February 2018 to watch Liverpool Football Club beat West Ham 4-1! We sat in the KOP together and sang as loud and as long as we could. We know the stigma of day trippers so we made sure to add to the atmosphere as much as we can. We even learned a couple of songs we took back with us. We were there for the entire weekend and hit every place we’ve ever heard about, or were directed to, from other supporters. We did the stadium tour the following day. It was more than we could have imagined. We were interviewed by The Anfield Wrap on their Traveling KOP segment. After the match we got on the Fan segment of Redmen TV and properly called Andy Robertson as MOM. All of us being huge fans of both TAW and Redmen TV, this was a huge thrill for us.
Match Day Breakfast:
Their Fish & Chips have won Best in San Diego. Once a year the Pub makes Scouse from scratch for International Scouse Day. But what WE know them for is the Pozole. You wouldn’t think a Scouse Pub would be known for their Mexican soup, but it’s true. I am too nervous to eat anything on match days. So, the only time I eat is when we are up by 3 goals. When this occurs there is a running joke about me getting my bacon, egg & cheese sandwich. No matter what you eat, it goes very well with a Carlsberg or San Diego’s own Merseyside Red. We’ve brewed that beer with a few different Micro Brewers here in town just for our club. But be aware if you are out here that they can’t serve booze until after 6:00am. Makes the first half of those 4:30am matches a bit nervy without a beer to calm you down!
No matter what you order, it will arrive promptly from a short blonde who might be the most important part of every match day. Her name is Liz Hagen and she gets up at the crack of dawn every week for the last 6 seasons to take care of our rowdy crew in the back room.
Favorite Liverpool FC moment for the Club?
There’s been many incredible moments to be with this Supporters Club. It’s too hard to pick the greatest, so I’ll give you one of the best most recent ones. Origi scoring off the crossbar in the 96thminute. It’s the kind of tension over 90 min that makes the air thick inside the small confines of the Princess Pub. But the release after that ball crosses the line was indescribable. The roof nearly came off. Glasses were smashed. Chairs were broken. Tables were danced on. But maybe my favorite was that there was so many of us there an hour after the final whistle singing at the top of our lungs still. Almost like we didn’t want that moment to end.
Written by Steven McGlynn (Founder & Head).
Interested in finding out more about LFC New Haven or want to attend a game with the OLSC? See below for their meeting spot address and give them a shout on social!
Princess Pub & Grille
1665 India St, in downtown San Diego.