Meet Atlanta’s other football fans

These Manchester United fans have found a home in Midtown
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Soccer Manchester United football Atlanta

Photograph by Fernando Decillis

Neither Rain, nor sleet, nor early morning kickoff can keep Atlanta’s rabid soccer fans from cheering on their favorite teams. Here, fans of Manchester United—at Fadó Irish Pub in Midtown—talk about why they show up.

“I’m here every week, every game. I’ve come here at 6:45 a.m., and sometimes there are already people here waiting for the game to start.”  —Varun Ranipeta, 26, IT professional

“The great thing about football is that we have our rivalries, but the banter and the fun that goes on between us is incredible.” —Steve Baxter, 51, software managing director

“In Europe everybody sings. It’s part of the culture. I don’t think you see it here with American sports. But it’s a lot of fun to sing and get the people going.”  —Jan Cernin, 28, medical assistant

“There’ve always been United supporters in Atlanta but they never had a home. All we did was basically create a home for them.” —Barry Scanlon, 33, former bar manager

“Growing up in the 1990s, you only heard about one team: Man United. And it was basically because of David Beckham. He’s a worldwide icon.” —Victor Gill, 29, structural engineer

“I happened to be in a pub in Manchester and got to see them win one of the biggest matches of their life in 1999, so I got hooked.”  —Jeffrey Sauls, 43, green-building consultant

“I have been a United fan for more than eight years now. When I was 14, my uncle used to be a big fan of the Premier league. When I saw United playing I had the feeling that this was going to be my club.” —Brijesh Jaishankar, 23, software engineer

“I’m here to support the best club in the world. To watch my boys. There’s something about watching it [here]—the atmosphere, the environment. It’s the closest thing to going to a match.” —Andre Murray, 26, consultant

“I’m originally from Scotland, so I love British soccer. Soccer is the main sport in the U.K.” —David Hutton, 64, retired oil safety officer

“It’s fun to be around fellow fans and enjoy the game.” —Hunter Rackley, 35, engineer

“Manchester United were always the underdogs in 1986, when I started watching. And I’m always for the underdogs.” —Grady Wring, 37, web developer

“I came out this morning because this is my soccer family.” —Kelly Carter, 25, nonprofit project manager 

This article originally appeared in our March 2017 issue.

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