James Higdon – Indianapolis, Indiana
“I can partially credit the rekindling of my love for the sport to my brother, Kyle. Back in the summer of 2012, Kyle had approached me about traveling to Baltimore to watch Liverpool FC take on Tottenham Hotspurs. It didn’t take much convincing on his part to get me onboard with the idea—seeing how we purchased tickets minutes after that conversation. I hadn’t pledged allegiance to an English Premier League side at the time, but my love for Liverpool FC was quickly cemented after hearing the crowd of 48,000+ people belting out “You’ll Never Walk Alone”, and watching the likes of Steven Gerrard, Jamie Carragher and many more on the pitch.
Months passed and we rolled around to January 2013—the month that football made its return to the Circle City. Indy Pro Soccer, which is now known as Indy Eleven Professional Soccer, had made landfall in Indianapolis. Kyle had invited me to join him and the Brickyard Battalion, the grassroots supporters group responsible for bringing the team to the city, for the televised press conference. Little did we know that we’d be on stage behind North American Soccer League and state officials during the announcement–singing chants for those in attendance. It was later that evening that I shared my first beer with former president/GM of Indy Eleven and soccer royalty Peter Wilt and the team’s owner Ersal Ozdemir.
Since then, I have been very fortunate with the opportunities I have gotten. While I still seek full-time work in the post-college world, I keep busy with taking photos for a local blog, Lady Victory and Her Quest for Glory, and secured the position of acting chairman of the Official Liverpool FC Supporters Club of Indianapolis. Both of these opportunities combined have led to many amazing conversations with players, TV personalities and team, as well as global exposure on social media through my photos, videos and podcast appearances. Lastly, I can thank football for introducing me to the large number of friends I have made along the way. Football has given me so much and I want to do whatever I can to give back to the sport in any capacity. It’s my mission to do whatever I can to grow the sport, whether it be stateside or anywhere around the world.”