favorite UTD quote: "Ask all the players in the country which club they would like to play for and 99% would say 'Manchester United.' The other 1% are liars."
- Gordon McQueen
favorite UTD quote: "If I had to choose between dribbling past 5 players and scoring from 40 yards at Anfield or shagging Miss World, it'd be a hard choice. Thankfully, I've done both."
- George Best
What are your plans for the future?
Our slogan is “Bringing A Little Bit of The Stretford End to the Windy City,” and our goal is to raise our profile until every supporter in the country knows that if they’re in Chicago, they have a home with us. So many people tell me how they watched matches home alone for years, and what a difference it makes to open a pub door and walk into a smiling sea of RED.
Who are the organizers of MUFChicago?
In the past it has been mainly just myself and Nick (update: AS OF 2016, Day-to-day operations have been taken over by Gonzalo Del Rio, with Nick and Jodi acting as advisors), we handle all social media, websites, business relationships, and try to personally greet all newcomers and make sure they feel at home. We also organize events, like when we had Paddy and the Prem Trophy down the pub. Most important is our support of Top Soccer Chicago - a footy charity helping children with physical or mental challenges play the game. Every year we organize a raffle of United collectibles with all proceeds going to Top Soccer Chicago. Last year we raised over $2K, and to thank us the kids adopted United colors and renamed their team “The Little Devils." Something like that makes all the work worthwhile.
How many members does MUFChicago have?We have about 500 hard core attendees, but total online membership is 1000+, and ranges across the suburbs and into nearby states. We have an Indiana couple that drives two hours to get to the pub, and a father and son who fly in from the East Coast to share major matches with us!
(the bulk of the following interview with Co-Director Jodi Kingsley first appeared in UNITED WE STAND)
About 13 years ago, a small group of us watched at the only bar that carried the footy, opened for early morning matches, and wasn’t packed with dirty scousers. There was real camaraderie, especially at 6AM kickoffs. You knew anyone else up at that hour loved the club as much as you did. After awhile, chants were sung, stories swapped, and friendships formed. By 2005 we were recruiting via a combination of strategic pints-buying, blatant peer-pressure, and handing out our homemade business cards to any Red we saw. Then, during a champagne-fuelled conversation during our celebrations for the 2010 League win, Nick persuaded me to use my marketing background to try and really build the group. We staggered from the pub to my office and – literally – that night the website was launched. Some serious spellchecking took place in the morning, of course, but within a year our numbers had swelled to more than 300. It proved to us that we were right - Chicago was full of Reds hungry for a community of their own.
Where do you watch matches?
We are partnered with FADO Irish Pub which is centrally located in Chicago's River North area - easy to get to by public transport or car.