Friday, 28 April 2023 | In Focus

Charlie Corr and the NYC Bees hit the Red Lion in Greenwich Village for some amazing watch parties. It's all about New York camaraderie, energy and that organic ability that makes the pub feel like an extension of GTEch. This budding fan group draws locals and more and more international visitors into the Big Apple for every match!  
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When a visitor to a New York City Bees watch party said our Red Lion event was the “next best thing to being at the Gtech,” we were naturally flattered by such a ringing endorsement. In the pre-Premier League era, our meet-ups wouldn’t have been a concept in the States. Yet for the past 20 months, the NYC gathering has turned into a local and international Bees hub as a prelude to all the other Manhattan amenities.

NYC Bees started with three strangers taking in Brentford-Arsenal in mid-August of 2021: Myself an American, Ben Reynolds of NZ and Danny Claeys from Richmond and a previous regular on the 65 bus! Three Bees fans, randomly meeting in NYC for a match, and for a 24-hour stretch we basked in the glory of Brentford sitting atop the EPL table. We knew that we wanted to experience this again, and again.

Nowadays, we regularly draw dozens of viewers to The Red Lion, with our biggest turnout so far bringing more than 30 folks together for this season’s 1-1 draw against Arsenal. But the NYC Bees aren’t measured just by sheer numbers. It is about camaraderie, energy and an organic ability to make this feel like a new GTech stand!

NYC Bees: Instagram | Twitter

The inevitable question: How did you become a Bees fan? In America, there are minimally three categories:

1) The expat: NYC Bees Co-Founder Danny is the epitome of a local Bee, growing up in the heart of the Brentford community, and he is our voice.
2) The vacationer: That’s me, Charlie, following Brentford since 2014-15, soaking up the four-corner pubs experience around Griffin Park like a tourist who checked off the perfect guidebook item.
3) Moneyball/Non-Big 6: Moneyball is a very Americanized Oakland A’s reference toward Brentford’s sound business as a smaller club making waves in the mighty EPL. Levar Riley, of Newark, NJ, has been with us from the start, and the Bees’ analytics and business savvy plays a part in his Bees interest. The rest of this supporter category is a growing base wanting to follow someone outside the typical Big 6. The underdog Brentford story resonates here.

The perk of being in NYC is we’re a melting pot that combines our regular local base with Bees supporters from other States, Canada and of course the UK.

Left to right: Londoner James de Vivenot (the day before running the New York Marathon), with NYC Bees regulars Charlie Corr, Danny Claeys and Spencer Beacom















The Red Lion, a definitive Greenwich Village Bees Experience:

The Red Lion, is a buzzing locale of music and comedy venues, great restaurants, and for our purposes, a perfect spot for European football, rugby or cricket. It’s far enough south from Midtown, where we would be muffled by the NY chaos if we were there. It’s a no-frills pub environment!

You’d all love it! No corporate. The pub gives us our own backspace and portion of the bar, Brentford exclusive.The club flag dominates the back wall, and I make sure to hang up a specialized NYC Bees kit near our seating. Stationed at one end of the bar is a silver bell, which our bartender scrambles to ring when we find the back of the net. Brentford kicked off April with three matches over eight days, and our weekday afternoon gathering against Manchester United brought in a group to rival our weekends – a couple of work laptops were understandably part of the equation.

The beauty of these watch parties is the coming together of folks who have seen us via social media or word of mouth and exchanging our backstories in between the play. This three-game stretch, for example, drew in several Brentford season ticket holders who expressed their satisfaction in our setup. Brandon Sparks and his family from Seattle were in town for Bees-Newcastle, and if you haven’t come across Brandon’s repurposed Brentford designs of every U.S. state flag, I highly recommend browsing. Daily Mail reporter Miles Dilworth just moved to NYC a couple days before the April 1 draw against Brighton, so he joined us for two of the three games. Locally, we’ve recently drawn more newcomers from the likes of Harlem and Queens.

We’re “Just a Subway Stop in The Village.”

Regarding the club itself, there is a range of footballing knowledge for sure, but I can say with great pride that our group follows the club and the game quite closely, and that’s important. We’re all huge supporters of the vision Brentford has shown, from Matthew Benham’s ownership to Thomas Frank’s managerial skills – it’s a rarity to collectively feel that way.

We enthusiastically cheer when defenders Pontus Jansson and Ethan Pinnock are responsible for two-thirds of our scoring against Brighton. We groan when Ivan Toney misses a penalty kick for the first time. We debate the long-term future of goalkeeper David Raya. We ride the highs and lows of VAR, and I’m most eager to delve into that topic, especially having worked with PGMOL technical director Howard Webb when we were both at Major League Soccer. Win, lose or draw, die-hard fan or casual observer, we hope the NYC Bees setting is a welcoming and entertaining locale.


The NYC Bees during a midweek, midday watch event for Brentford’s April 5 match against Manchester United















The Future:

What does the NYC Bees future hold? Maybe there is an annual NYC-to-Gtech group trek. Maybe Nathan Young-Coombes will be a full-fledged first-teamer so we can look into acquiring a signed “NYC” kit on our NYC walls. Maybe someone closely affiliated with the club will be in town to share a couple pints, a discussion and match with us. The possibilities are endless.

Additionally, some of the backstories of potential future visitors are fascinating. I received a note from a local who told me about how his parents were married during halftime of a Brentford match, they heard about our NYC Bees group taking off in America, and someday they want to make the trek to experience our watch event. We are obligated to make this Brentford’s home, away from home.

This is only the beginning here. More markets within the States are getting groups together, and we’ll turn out for the heavily anticipated Premier League Summer Series. We share a goal of making this club part of the fabric in America, and if our Manhattan-based group is any indication, the pieces are in place to make sure this is a memorable Bees destination for years to come. NYC Bees: Instagram | Twitter

From left to right, Ben Reynolds, Danny Claeys and Charlie Corr at the first NYC Bees event, Brentford’s Premier League debut against Arsenal in 2021