Welcome back to our weekly feature on Manchester City Official Supporters Clubs. After a one week hiatus to honor HRH Queen Elizabeth II, we’re back. This week, we were able to caught up with Spencer Schwartz of New York Sky Blues, he took the time to answer a few questions about the club.
CITYZENDuck: What is the New York Sky Blues origin story?
Spencer Schwartz: The New York Sky Blues are the oldest and largest Manchester City Supporters Club branch in North America. Prior to our formation in 2007, Manchester City fans in New York and beyond had been loosely connected since the early 1990s. The support was scattered over a wide area, but it wasn’t until we found a home at The Mad Hatter when we started growing little by little. I would argue that what put us on the map was when then-City chief executive Garry Cook came over in 2010 and boldly declared that City would become “the biggest and best football club in the world.” His comments seemed to make every back page of every paper in the world, and every single report mentioned the fact that he made the speech at the Mad Hatter in New York City. The whole world laughed. No one’s laughing now!
Since then, we have welcomed countless true Blues from all over the world who have come over to watch with us, and have grown into one of the largest and most well-known Manchester City supporters club branches outside of the UK. Now we’re proudly celebrating our 15th season, and welcome everyone to watch a match with us at our home since 2018, Amity Hall.
CD: What is the best thing about being a part of New York Sky Blues?
SS: A supporters’ club is only as good as its members, and I truly believe that our supporters’ club is one of the best in the world—for any sport, and any team. It’s as diverse as the city we call home. We have fans both old and new, from all over the world, and all are welcome—because of that, I’m lucky to have made lifelong friends I will always cherish. As a fan since the days of Nicolas Anelka and Sun Jihai, I would not be as big a fan if not for the New York Sky Blues.
What I am most proud of, however, is our charity work. We have proudly raised almost $100,000 to date for numerous charities, including City in the Community, New York Common Pantry, and local footballing initiatives for underprivileged children in Harlem and The Bronx. Due to these efforts, we officially became a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization in 2019.
CD: What is your favorite memory your club has made together?
SS: City’s bout of successes since our formation 15 years ago has been absolutely incredible—never in a million years would I have ever expected to see us winning any trophy, let alone 14! (17 if you count the Community Shield like the rags.) So instead of singling one of those times out, I’m going to cheat a bit and share a series of interconnected memories that perfectly encapsulates what makes the New York Sky Blues so special. When one of our founding members, Steve Jepson, was diagnosed with ALS, we rallied around him and his family. When he became too unwell to show up anymore, we all turned up to his house to watch a game with him and bring the atmosphere to him! After Jepo sadly passed away, City helped us organize a special fundraiser a few weeks later, on Derby Day. Not only did City win 2-1, we raised nearly $10,000 for his family! A few months later, in conjunction with their preseason US tour, City organized another event with us to celebrate winning the league and to honor his family. What they didn’t tell us was that Vincent Kompany would show up!
These events showed me that we take care of our own and look after each other. At the end of the day, that’s what’s most important. Getting to watch the team we love win trophies together is just the icing on the cake.
CD: Where City supporters find you on match days?
SS: After The Mad Hatter shut its doors, we moved to Amity Hall in 2018, where we’ve been ever since. It is located at 80 West 3rd Street, just a block south of Washington Square Park in Manhattan’s Greenwich Village. We are there for every single match, regardless of time or competition. All Blues are welcome to join us—the craic’s lovely.
CD: Thanks Spencer.
Gathering with your mates to cheer on the Sky Blues is a great way to share your love for City and the beautiful game. If you’d like to link up with the New York Sky Blues or the OSC in your area, you can find you local Official Supporters Club at ManCity.com.
The New York Sky Blues are on the web at newyorkskyblues.com and you can follow them on Twitter @newyorkskyblues and like them on Facebook. If you are in New York, join the fun on match days at Amity Hall in downtown Manhattan. Thanks again to Spencer for his time. Keep an eye here for the next club to be featured. We do it every Monday on Bitter and Blue.