It's a great time to be a Blue. The Premier League is growing in popularity in the US and Canada, and Manchester City are dominating the league of late. If you've suddenly found yourself rooting for City, or even if you've been cheering on the Blues alone, you should definitely take the time to fund your local Manchester City Official Supporters Club.
Every Monday we feature another OSC from across North America. Today we spend some time with Bernadette "Berny" Gilbey, Chairman of Hollywood MCFC in Los Angeles, CA. So without further delay, let's get to know Hollywood MCFC.
Bitter and Blue: How did Hollywood MCFC get its start?
Hollywood MCFC: Summer of 2011 City came to play in Los Angeles against the LA Galaxy and a lot of us went from never running across another blue out there to suddenly seeing a sea of them! I chatted to a few that were seated next to me and in line at the concession stand and found that many were visiting from England. As the 2011/12 season started and City started picking up momentum I was getting out to watch more matches but still found myself being the only sky blue dot at the venue. As May 13th was approaching I went on to Blue Moon Forum to see if there were any other fans that couldn’t stand the idea of watching this alone. It wasn’t long before a plan to meet up at The Fox & Hounds in Studio City was formed. There were just 4 of us and one QPR fan there. As all of the matches were on we had one small TV in the corner of this little alcove that we had to share with the Rangers fans who were in from watching their match earlier. Things seemed so dire for a moment there but we all know how that day ended. This bar is a shared venue with a lot of other clubs and EVERYONE was watching our match by the end of it. Perhaps it was the trauma bonding from the morning but that was the day our OSC started. Over the summer we kept in touch and got the paperwork in to become an official club. That first season it was a bit of a struggle to get people to the early matches but it wasn’t long before all the blues came out of the woodwork. 10 years on we’re going strong and getting bigger every season.
BnB: What is the best thing about being a member of your club?
HMCFC: Watching the matches together and meeting people from all over Los Angeles. This is a tough town to meet people in and the members of our group have grown to be good friends. This town can often make newcomers feel disconnected and if you’re new in town to be able to walk in to a room full of people that you know you share at least one thing in common with is a great feeling. Everyone is welcome, LA is a hot spot for vacations so we do get a lot of traveling fans as well.
BnB: What is your favorite memory your club has made together?
HMCFC: Besides 93:20 the best memory we have is the 2017 friendly against Real Madrid. It was at the Coliseum and we brought a massive group somewhere near 170 people to the match. Some of our members haven’t made a trip to Manchester yet and being able to see the team play in Los Angeles was fantastic. We were making so much noise the reps from City came up to thank us for the support and other blues from all over the stadium were trying to crash our section. After the match a few of us were invited to meet the team as they left, it was just a great day all around.
BnB: Where can City fans find you on matchday?
HMCFC: You can find Hollywood MCFC at the Fox & Hounds in Studio City. This is a legendary football venue and many clubs gather there. It is near impossible to get a bar to open for these really early matches but the Fox & Hounds has been doing this for years. Some of our long term members have been watching there long before our club came to existence.
Thanks once again to Berny for taking the time to chat. You can follow @HollywoodMCFC on Twitter to keep up with all the latest from the club. And if you're in Los Angeles on matchday, be sure to pop in to The Fox and Hounds.