Myanmar and English football are finally united.
Liverpool fans in Myanmar have officially been given an Official Liverpool Supporters Club (OLSC) status after years of being left in the dark.
They call themselves the 'Myanmar Reds' and this is their story.
In Myanmar, football is a national sport and the English Premier League reigns supreme in the heart of football fans. From big cities to small villages, from the far north to the deepest south of the country - the names of big Premier League clubs can be heard. Liverpool is one of them.
Most of the Burmese who ardently cheer for their Anfield heroes are more than fans. In fact, they are 'die-hard' supporters. Having secretly admired, cherished, treasured and felt proud of Liverpool's nickname 'the Reds', these fans call themselves the Myanmar Reds.
You'll Never Walk Alone (YNWA) is a slogan that inspires the Myanmar Reds. Want to know why?
While Liverpool fans from around the world have the opportunity visit and touch the famous 'This is Anfield' sign - fans in Myanmar can only sit and admire. What's more, when the Reds were on tour in South-east Asia, Myanmar was again left out - fans were left feeling envious.
The Myanmar Reds have always wanted more. They desired the same opportunities that their counterparts had, however it was but a daydream for a once-isolated country like Myanmar. They longed to visit and get officially recognised by Anfield.
No matter how far-fetched it sounded, the Myanmar Reds never gave up. YNWA was the only energy that fueled their cause. After five years of trying to put their fan club on the map, everything changed for them in 2011. Seeing that the political climate was rather calm, the Myanmar Reds came together using Facebook.
Besides gathering for Liverpool matches, the good guys at the Myanmar Reds engaged in charitable activities. They donated items and money to landmine victims, homes for the aged, orphanages, schools, temples and hospitals.
They contributed as much as they could despite having little money to work with. With the slogan 'You'll Never Walk Alone' set in their minds, the Myanmar Reds contributed 50 cents to every US$1 raised for charity works. All this whilst applying to get an Official Liverpool Supporters Club (OLSC) status.
Since then, the Myanmar Reds have been adhering to the strict requirements for an OLSC. They kept their cheers for Liverpool loud despite the scoreline and even donated blood in the name of the Anfield club.
After months of silence from the OLSC, a few lost hope but most kept the faith.
The Myanmars Reds are marked out on the map in the Liverpool Supporters Club website (Photo: LiverpoolFC.com)
Their optimism paid off on February 15 when the Myanmar Reds were finally given the OLSC status they had long desired. It is official. On the Liverpool fan club website, Myanmar is marked out on the map as an official Liverpool supporters club.
The Myanmar Reds will always support Liverpool and if fans happen to be in Yangon and are looking for a place to catch their games, the Myanmar Reds meet for live televised games at Foam Cafe, 11th Street, corner of Maha Bandoola Road. All are welcome to join.
For more details contact them through the Liverpool Fan Club website.