Kildare’s in West Chester has plenty of reasons to be your go-to soccer-watching spot, including the fact that we’re open and watching the game ourselves at 7 a.m.

Soccer—the real football—is ingrained in our blood through years of kicking balls around with friends and watching the greats on the telly. With a love for the game and enough big screens around the pub to watch them all, Kildare’s in West Chester is your spot for soccer.

Our love for soccer stems from a personal love for the sport by our owner, Dane Gray. “Back in the day in Australia, before cable and all that fun stuff was invented, we would only get about an hour of English soccer coverage a week … and I watched it religiously.”

He also notes how the 1990 World Cup in Italy played a significant role in his love for the game. “We got a good amount of those World Cup games, and I followed them religiously for four to six weeks. Watching that level of competition was when it really sunk in how much I love the sport.”

That love for soccer has been part of Dane’s life since, and has continued to grow since he moved to the States. The Grays’ oldest son has joined West Chester United, a club that Kildare’s actively supports, and Dane even laced the boots back up recently to play with a club out of USTC. His love and connection with the sport show through in other ways, too—such as when Dane was invited to present the Man of the Match award at the Uruguay vs. Venezuela game at Lincoln Financial Field as part of the Copa America Centenario. Dane said, “I was very privileged to watch the warm-ups from right behind the goal, on the pitch itself. The Man of the Match, Salomon Rondón, also plays for West Bromwich Albion in the Premier League, so that was exciting. Also, Luis Suárez was on the bench for the Uruguay team, and to be that close and watch him warming up was spectacular. He is one of the great players right now.”

As a fan and player himself, Dane also possesses memorabilia that prove he’s the real deal. “I’ve started a collection of signed jerseys that are going up around the bar,” Dane said. “We’ve got a Brazilian jersey with an entire team on it, including Pelé’s signature, as well as jerseys for David BeckhamDavid Villa, and Jozy Altidore.” With that kind of dedication, Kildare’s in West Chester just might represent the most passionate fans in Chester County.

Kildare’s staffers are not alone. Dane notes, “One morning, we opened at 7 a.m., and had about 40 people here to watch the Manchester United and Manchester City. With that many people coming out at 7 a.m. to watch and talk about the game they love, regardless of what team they go for, I think that is really special.”

At Kildare’s, soccer fits the culture of our pub: Our friendly atmosphere is taken to the next level when you can cheer on a great game with soul-warming food, a pint in hand.

And although Dane might be a huge Liverpool fan, he promises, “It doesn’t matter who you follow, you can come watch your team every week.”

Kildare’s in West Chester is a destination: an authentic Irish pub that has something for everyone. We’re a place to bring the family for weekend brunch; cheer your favorite soccer (or American football) team; enjoy next-level fare at a business lunch, dinner with friends or special event; spend happy hour (questionable dance moves and all); and, of course, imbibe great beer, whiskey and other adult libations. Join us and find out why we’re not your average Irish pub.

Jay Breslin