Considering the fact that Charleston was actually named after an English king, when the original settlement foundations were laid by British colonists in 1670, the current generation of American residents have actually done quite a good job of remembering their roots, especially when it comes to sporting affiliations.
As the most popular sport in the world and arguably the greatest of British exports, soccer is played and followed in practically every corner of the globe. That includes right here alongside the Cooper River at Patriots Point, where Charlestown Battery are settling into their luxurious new home. The club has also maintained a strong tradition of English leadership, since being founded in 1993 by Tonny Bakker, an expatriate businessman from London.
When a community comes together, amazing things can happen.
Thank you, to the entire Charleston community, for making our new home at Patriots Point a reality!
🎥 See how it happened: pic.twitter.com/v6p6aLK6hm
— Charleston Battery (@Chas_Battery) October 30, 2020
The current chief operating officer and club president since 2018, Mike Kelleher is the latest Londoner to lead the club, boasting a wealth of professional soccer management, including a spell overseeing the West Ham United International Academy, prior to his arrival in Charleston. Undoubtedly, ties with the English Premier League still remain strong, whether amongst those directly involved in the local soccer scene or those content to support from the bleachers.
It’s for this reason that in Charleston and throughout South Carolina, there are countless passionate soccer fans who often rise at the most unearthly hours, just to watch their favorite English teams playing live on TV. Often keenly aware of the latest English Premier League odds, where teams like Man City and Chelsea dominate the favorites at around the 1.10 mark. These fans are often seen sporting their true colors at weekends
— Holy City Hammers (@HCHammers) October 5, 2019
Compared to other larger and more populous areas of the United States, where you might expect to find a higher density of Premier League soccer supporters, the Charleston area boasts a surprising number of supporters’ clubs. Many of these are officially recognized by the clubs they follow, such as the Holy City Hammers, who were formed in 2015 and even have their own page at the official West Ham United club website.
They are by no means unique, because other Premier League clubs from London can also boast fanatical support in Charleston. This includes the Charsenal group of diehard Arsenal fans, constantly growing in numbers and rarely missing a kick of the ball, whenever the Gunners are in action. Indeed, it’s a rare sight to find a sports bar without someone wearing an Arsenal shirt.
— Charsenal (@charsenalgooner) October 17, 2020
Of course, the most popular occasion is often any time Arsenal are facing their North London rivals, Tottenham Hotspur, who have an impressive following of their own. According to their own website, South Carolina Spurs have grown impressively to welcome more than 180 members of their supporters’ club, having started out with just six in 2012. They now have a regular meeting point in North Charleston, which is always popular on match days.
Of course, there are lots of fans cheering for other Premier League teams in the Charleston area, who are always welcome to join fans of the aforementioned teams at their most frequent haunts. That said, there will undoubtedly be plenty of friendly banter, which is a customary part of showing your colors for any English team. It's all part of the flavor and fun of soccer, and in this corner of the United States, that enjoyment is more passionate than most.