MILAN CLUB DUBLIN
Words: Mike Brennan
Images: Milan Club Dublin
Mike Brennan tells us about the founding of Milan Club Dublin and its excellent charity work.
“Milan Club Dublin was formed in January 2014 by a group of six friends who were getting frustrated by the string of bad results brought on by AC Milan struggling as a squad and as a club as a whole. Six people turned to seven, seven tuned into ten, and ten turned into eighty in the space of 2 years. The club has always had a good mix of Irish and Italian Milan fans, with our love for Milan not recognizing any borders. Even at a time when Milan were at one of the lowest points of recent history, people’s passion for the club was still burning brightly, it just needed a small group of friends to encourage them to hold that flame aloft.
From 2016 onwards, with a dedicated group of volunteers, we became an Official AC Milan Supporters Club. Now that we were recognized by AC Milan, we wanted to be recognized by everyone! We would meet every single week, for every single game at the Woolshed Bar in Dublin, and every game we sang and shouted until our voices hurt, sometimes in celebration, others in frustration.
One of the greatest games we watched together was the Milan Derby in April 2017. Despite it being an 11:30am kick-off, 120 supporters showed up for the game. Packed closely in the bar, the emotions of the derby were already high, so when Cristian Zapata acrobatically scored a 97th minute equalizer, the place erupted! There were bodies leaping around, screams and hugs aplenty, and for those 20 seconds after the ball crossed the line, all 120 people were one entity, with the same thoughts, emotions and voices. It was incredible, and something I thought I’d never see outside of San Siro.
We then took this passion imbued by AC Milan, and injected it into our community. We started a charity football tournament between Serie A clubs in Dublin (which Milan Club Dublin won in 2018) and donated all funds raised to a local charity, we have regular charity endeavours that tackle such issues as homelessness, addiction, poverty, mental health and human rights. We were proud to be Milan fans, and we wanted anyone who was a Milan fan to be proud of us.”