LMSC: The Mumbai Reds Who'll Never Walk Alone

The Liverpool Mumbai Supporters Club (LMSC) was formed mainly to provide passionate and fun loving Liverpool FC supporters an ideal place to congregate, watch and support their beloved football team

  • LMSC: The Mumbai Reds Who'll Never Walk Alone
  • LMSC: The Mumbai Reds Who'll Never Walk Alone
  • LMSC: The Mumbai Reds Who'll Never Walk Alone
  • LMSC: The Mumbai Reds Who'll Never Walk Alone
  • LMSC: The Mumbai Reds Who'll Never Walk Alone
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Liverpool is the second-most successful Premier League club behind Manchester United in England (considering league titles), and the rivalry with the Manchester club has been one of the most decorated and talked about sporting rivalries in the history. Liverpool have never managed to win the Premier League as the competition was formed as the FA Premier League on 20 February 1992 following the decision of clubs in the Football League First Division to break away from the Football League, founded in 1888, and take advantage of a lucrative television rights deal. So Liverpool have 18 top division titles, but not a single 'Premier League' title but they came very close during the 2018/19 season, finishing in second spot behind Manchester City, losing out by a single point. They did manage to win the UEFA Champions League last season, making it six European titles for the club.

The club has been on a roller coaster ride through the years and the fan support in Mumbai seems to be on the same roller coaster as well. Welcome the Mumbai Reds, Liverpool Mumbai Supporters Club (LMSC). 


LMSC

The Liverpool Mumbai Supporters Club (LMSC) was formed mainly to provide passionate and fun loving Liverpool FC supporters an ideal place to congregate, watch and support their beloved football team. It all started when a few passionate Liverpool supporters from Mumbai decided to form a fan club with an authentic vibe to it. 

Since its inception in 2008, the supporters base of LMSC has been growing steadily. The common meeting point for the Liverpool supporters were social networking websites like Orkut where they would regularly meet up and discuss everything football. 

In June 2008, the idea of having an inter- fan club tournament was being floated by the other fan clubs. This acted as a stimulant for the Liverpool fans in Mumbai who not only loved supporting their club off the field but also loved playing football on the field. So on June 1, 2008, the Liverpool fans met for the first time at Shivaji Park, Dadar where more than 20 fans turned up and for the group, it was a first step towards something big.     

Since then there has been no looking back, the Sunday league football style tournament culminated into the group gathering and watching Liverpool matches together. Back in 2008, watching a football match in a pub was a pretty nascent concept and not many of them were open to watching it in a pub. Only half a dozen supporters turned up for the first screening but it got the dice rolling. By the end of 2008-09, the supporters club had a sizeable figure of about 30 regular members who would turn up for the screenings. 


LMSC grew popular also due to the increasing reach of social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook and in the next two years, LMSC started increasing the frequency of screenings from 5 in 2008 to 20 in the next two years.

In Mumbai, there's this great concept of joint screenings where fans of rival supporters clubs watch their teams play at a pub. The atmosphere is fired up, with constant bantering, and digs at each other with innovative banners. LMSC has had multiple successful joint screenings with Chelsea India Supporters Club and Manchester United Supporters Club Mumbai (MUSCM). 

When Premier League World  came down to Mumbai, they covered a match screening against Manchester City. The show is telecasted in many parts of the world and helped LMSC to gain much needed popularity. 


From there, another special moment for the fan club was when the LFC team flew down to Mumbai for a Standard Chartered Clinic. The likes of Paul Rogers, Matt Walker, Claire Rourke, Rishi Jain, Scott Fowler & Dave McParland took time out of their schedules and met the supporters club at a pub in South Mumbai.

To LMSC's surprise, their interviews and videos were published on the official website the next day and a  few fans also got a chance to meet the legendary Ian Rush after queuing outside the ground where the clinic was held.


Gaining official status

In India, only Mizoram had an official Liverpool Supporters Club prior to 2013. After a number of unsuccessful attempts to get in touch with them, LMSC Mumbai decided to write to the Club regarding the supporters club. By then, LFC had stopped giving Official status to Supporters Clubs.

It was in September 2012 that the club had decided to extend its network of official branches all over the world and restart its supporters club policy all afresh. The club dropped in an email saying that it would like to grant LMSC official status as a supporters club.

After getting all the required formalities in check, they submitted their application to the club in late December. 

On February 15, 2013, LMSC became official and it was a special day for every Liverpool fan in Mumbai. After a number of meetings, discussions, arguments and hardwork, LMSC got the official status they wanted. 

LMSC was declared official through an article on the official site where two committee members, Tanay Ganatra and Mangesh Nadkarni were interviewed by Paul Rogers from the club.

Today OLSC Mumbai is a "Gold" Branch of Liverpool FC for 4 years running and the largest LFC Supporters Club in the Indian subcontinent. OLSC Mumbai has also hosted Premier League Live in 2015, LFC World in 2018 and many other events with ex Liverpool players like Ian Rush, Robbie Fowler, Luis Garcia, Jamie Carragher, Sami Hyypia, Vladimir Smicer, Steve McManaman, Jason McAteer.


Talking to Mumbai Live, Neil Chheda, the branch secretary gave us some insight on LMSC.


Liverpool fan following in Mumbai

"I think the fan following of Liverpool is one of the biggest in Mumbai and the same is evident by how many fans regularly show up to watch matches with us. During the last decade when the club wasn’t doing that well on the pitch, fans have made sure they stuck around, joined us for screenings and events and supporters the club through the not so good times. That shows how a loyal fanbase ours is and with the recent success by winning the CL and competing for various trophies the fan following is going to grow even more."


LMSC's home in Mumbai

"We watch the matches at a lot of different venues but Raasta Bombay in Khar has been our regular venue. This is our 4th season at Raasta Bombay and we could not be more happier with how Joy Singh his team have supported us over the years."

 
Rivalry with other supporter clubs in Mumbai 

"We have a very healthy rivalry with most local supporters club here in Mumbai, we regularly do joint screenings with Chelsea Mumbai, Man City Mumbai, India Spurs. Occasionally we even play 5 aside football against each other."


The moment LMSC got affiliated to Liverpool (officially) and how things changed post that

"The official status and being a gold branch is the biggest credit to everyone involved with the supporters club. It  gives a various opportunities and benefits from the club like getting PL ticket access through the season, having direct contact with the supporters club liaison in Liverpool, invitation to Black Tie Dinners at LFC, partnerships and sponsorships various club Sponsors like Carlsberg, Standard Chartered and more."


Current status of LMSC and plans for the future  

 "The supporters club is growing by the day, Winning the Champions League and European Super Cup all the fans have finally something to celebrate after a long time. We are expecting more fans and more fans  than ever to join us for our screenings this year as we fight for the PL title once again and to make the experience more robust, since last 2 the seasons we have also made it easy for fans to join us for screenings by listing the same on INSIDER. Fans can now buy tickets for our screenings from the ease of their phone and make the experience a whole lot easier.

Apart from match screenings we just completed our 2nd season of the LMSC Super League a 6-aside Football Tournament established by LFC Mumbai, where 8 teams comprising solely of LFC fans compete against each other. We had over 100 players playing every Friday over a period of 4 months. Currently no supporters club is doing such a thing on such a scale and the next season we have plans to go even bigger..."

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