Author Archives: celtic

Thailand Celtic Supporters Festival Bangkok Update

Thailand Celtic Supporters Festival Bangkok Update

We will be returning to O’Sheas Irish Pub in Bangkok as guests of the Bangkok CSC to host the first three days of the CELTIC Festival.

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The area the pub is in is well serviced with plenty of hotels. The bar is located about 100m from Phrom Phong BTS Sky Train Station. One stop to the east is Thong Lor and one stop to the west is Asoke . Two stops to the west is Nana.

Any hotel close to any of these BTS Sky Train stations would be very convenient and close to the bar and would have many options regarding food, drink, nightlife, and shopping.

During the weekend in Bangkok we will have Gigs, An Evening with the Celtic Players and watch Celtic in the Scottish Cup at the Thailand Celtic Supporters Festival.

https://www.osheasbangkok.com

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KANO KEEPING FOOTBALL FREE FOR KIDS

KANO KEEPING FOOTBALL FREE FOR KIDS. Thanks to everyone who has bought tables and tickets for A NIGHT OF INTERNATIONAL BOXING AT CELTIC PARK IN AID OF THE KANO FOUNDATION on Saturday 17 Sept. 2022

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A SCOTLAND Select  will take on an IRELAND Select in the Kerrydale Suite.

Enjoy a 3 course meal before watching a night of top class boxing featuring ELITE Champions and help keep football free for kids by supporting the Kano Foundation

We have now sold half of the tables but we need to fill the venue to help keep football free for kids. If you can’t make it on the night you can sponsor a fight.

Ringside Tables of 10 (£600)

Tables of 10 (£500)

Single Tickets (£55)

Doors open 5pm. Meal served 6pm and Boxing starts at 8pm

For more details and to secure your tickets contact

Joe (Scotland) 00447506995707

Andrew (Ireland) 00353868323542

http://www.thekanofoundation.com/boxing/

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JOHN  HUGHES  CELTIC GREAT 1943 – 2022

  JOHN  HUGHES  CELTIC GREAT 1943 – 2022

Celtic Historian & Author, David Potter pays tribute to Yogi.

The news of the passing of John Hughes came to many of us as a deep personal blow. Those of us who grew up in the 1960s had strong feelings about The Bear.

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 The early 1960s were not great years for Celtic, and it would not be long after Celtic supporters got together that an argument could be guaranteed to develop about John Hughes! 

There were those who thought that he could be the greatest ever; there were those who thought him a waste of space. The truth is that John Hughes could be either of these extremes. I tended to believe that he could perform wonders for the club – but oh, how I wish I could have used the word “consistent” about him! 

If only he could produce every week what we knew he was capable of, then the arrogant Rangers of Baxter and Henderson could have been swept aside.

He stormed onto the scene at the beginning of season 1960/61 and for a while, all was brilliant as Celtic beat Third Lanark (twice) and Rangers at Ibrox with Hughes looking like the new star. 

He lacked the grace and style of Patsy Gallacher and Charlie Tully (he was never that sort of player) but there was something of Jimmy Quinn and Sandy McMahon about him. Alas! It could not be maintained, and there was no-one at Parkhead at the time who could talk to the youngster through the difficult times and encourage him. 

Rangers beat Celtic twice at Parkhead in the League Cup and the League in autumn 1960 and the bubble was well and truly burst.

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In some ways those first six weeks of this career were a microcosm of the rest of his Parkhead life. Capable of brilliance, but not always able to produce it through lack of confidence or conviction. 

The end of that season, for example, saw a marvellous performance in the Scottish Cup semi-final against Airdrie… but then a feckless, flaccid display in the final against Dunfermline which many fans (and indeed one team mate in particular) found difficult to forgive.

No player was more talked about on the supporters’ buses than John Hughes. His spiky hairstyle encouraged the nickname “Yogi Bear” who was “smarter than the average (park) ranger” and he generally had a good season in 1961/62 when Celtic impressed everyone – but blew up spectacularly when they had to win against St Mirren in an awful semi-final. 

His jousts with Ian Ure of Dundee (a man who was also called “Yogi Bear”) were a feature of the season with honours even at the end. But it was Dundee, not Celtic, who won the League. 

Like everyone else, he suffered from the crazy team selections of Mr Kelly, but yet those of us who loved the Bear kept faith in him, and just now and again, we saw how good he could be. Take for example January 25 1964 in a Scottish Cup tie at Morton when he scored a magnificent, individual goal, and things looked good. 

He then scored the goal that gave us a wonderful and surprise victory against Slovan Bratislava, but then three days later at Ibrox when many of us felt that we were on the cusp of something big, John returned to depressing anonymity.

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Midwinter 1964/65 saw Celtic at their lowest ebb, yet John was usually exempt from the abuse of the fans because we always felt that he could do something. 

Wearing sandshoes on Boxing Day he scored two goals against Motherwell, and then on the very eve of the announcement of the appointment of Jock Stein, Yogi, again wearing sandshoes, scored five on a frost bound pitch against Aberdeen.

He was a very good “bad weather” player revelling in rain and frost – scoring a magnificent goal in the rain at Parkhead in September 1964 against Rangers and then finding it mysteriously disallowed – and for a while under Stein, goals began to flow. 

He won his first Scottish Cup medal in 1965, and was trusted with the job of scoring the penalties in the League Cup final of October that year. And what pivotal two moments of Celtic history those were! Those of us who had doubts about his temperament held our breath as the lumbering figure of Yogi appeared to take the two kicks to confirm that Celtic were back and (crucially) that the Rangers complex had gone.

We have already talked about the goal at Morton. There was another one equally good one against Morton in a League Cup semi-final at Hampden in 1967, but those of us who saw the goal at Dens Park in September 1965 will not admit to the possibility of anyone ever having seen a better goal. As an old timer put it, even Patsy Gallacher had to yield to that one! Sadly, that goal does not seem to be on any kind of film.

John was probably unlucky not to be one of the eleven in Lisbon, and he also missed out through injury on the glorious month of April 1969, but he played in most of the rest of the glory days, including the epic League chase of 1968, and, of course, he scored against Leeds in that semi-final of 1970.

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It was no secret that he and Jock Stein were no great buddies. Stein seemed to blame John disproportionately for a missed chance in the Milan Cup final against Feyenoord in 1970, and then there was an unfortunate incident in a game at Perth when John was injured, insisted on carrying on, and then eventually had to come off. Stein did not like losing and sometimes needed a scapegoat.

Following quite a few not very well hidden spats with Jock, Yogi was transferred (along with Willie Wallace) to Crystal Palace where he scored another one of his great goals (fortunately captured by TV cameras) but then suffered from injury, something which he had been unlucky with at several points of his career. 

He eventually moved to Roker Park, Sunderland to join his brother Billy, but injury struck in his very first game and basically his career finished before he was 30.

He was greatly admired in England with Newcastle United prepared on several occasions in the late 1960s to “rock football” with an offer for him, but he stayed with Celtic. 

He remained a Celtic man, and was frequently seen at Celtic Park in his later years. He remained bitter about Stein, (and he was not the only one) but both men appreciated the value of the other’s contribution to the club.

John was a totally different character from Jimmy Johnstone, as different from each other in their approach to the game as they were in looks. Nevertheless, if a supporter ever happened to be lucky enough to attend a game where both were on song at the same time, then there was nothing on earth that could have stopped Celtic on these occasions – and so often it seemed to happen at Easter Road against Hibs – but of course there were so many other magnificent footballers around at the same time.

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He was probably a better left winger than he was a centre forward. The sight of John rampaging in the open spaces down the left wing with panic stricken defenders in his wake is something that was one of the joys of the 1960s. 

Had he been able to do this sort of thing oftener, he would have been one of the greats of all time. As it was, he has left us with many joyous memories of the great days of Celtic.

 It is such a pity that the word “inconsistent” has to be applied to him, but nevertheless our generation of fans must feel sorry for the younger ones who never saw Yogi Bear in his prime!

His passing is an occasion of great sorrow, for John is well worth his place in the Valhalla of great Celts.

JOHN  HUGHES  CELTIC GREAT 1943 – 2022

 

 

 

INTERNATIONAL BOXING AT CELTIC PARK IN AID OF THE KANO FOUNDATION

DATE FOR THE DIARY

Saturday 17 Sept. 2022

A NIGHT OF INTERNATIONAL BOXING AT CELTIC PARK IN AID OF THE KANO FOUNDATION

SCOTLAND Select v IRELAND Select

Kerrydale Suite

Enjoy a 3 course meal before watching a night of top class boxing featuring ELITE Champions and help keep football free for kids by supporting the Kano Foundation

Ringside Tables of 10 (£600)

Tables of 10 (£500)

Single Tickets (£55)

For more details and to secure your tickets contact

Joe (Scotland) 00447506995707

Andrew (Ireland) 00353868323542

Sponsorship opportunities available

http://www.thekanofoundation.com/boxing/

 

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Living in exciting times as Celtic fans

We are living in exciting times as Celtic fans. Celtic’s pre-season has finished and Ange seems happy. He has brought in new players with Jota. Maeda and Carter Vickers also signing permanently. Celtic fans have now had a look at all the new Bhoys in the flesh. Today it is the start of the real business when Aberdeen come to Paradise.

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Back in January we brought in a trio of  Japanese players, with two becoming permanent fixtures in the starting eleven. Talk was the players being tired after coming straight from a full season of football at home in the J-League.

They may have had an extra long season but their attitude and commitment was unquestionable. Now they have had a break and against Norwich Maeda and Hatate looked at the level Kyogo was at when he arrived last year.

There is certainly a lot more to come from our Japanese Bhoys. Competition is healthy. Was Ange’s starting eleven the team that starts again today? After the Champions flag is raised, Ange will select 11 men to start with those on the bench ready when called.

David Turnbull scored last week and he will have given the Celtic manager food for thought ahead of naming his first 11. Ange hasd the luxury of a full week to prepare for today with his players. Something he did not have last season as we battled for Euro qualification.

Qualification for the group stages of the Champions League has made life a lot easier for the manager. The purse strings have been loosened with the riches that will come in Europe’s premier football competition.

On Thursday the 25th of August we will all have our eyes glued to the TV when the draw is made before the the stampede to book flights and hotels ahead of those famous nights in Celtic Park and Away Days in far flung destinations.

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Last year the Champions League nights seemed a million miles away when Ange arrived. Straight away he started the rebuild, the build continues but our football club is looking polished again.

The Rangers challenge will be a real one and Celtic will have to be on their best each and every game before they come to the East End of Glasgow at the start of September.

We are living in exciting times as Celtic fans, time to buckle up and the enjoy the ride.

Words: Andrew Milne

Pic: Martin Donaldson

 

Ange’s Champions Go Again

The 2022-23 SPFL season kicks off this weekend with Aberdeen as the visitors for a Celtic Park Flag Day. Ange’s Champions Go Again.

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This time last year was full of uncertainty. With the arrival of an unheralded Ange Postecoglou and a raft of player changes. In the end, the only certainty was that Celtic were worthy champions. Postecoglou had Celtic playing some of the best and most exciting football we have seen for a number of years. New players have become heroes.

The fact that two of last seasons stand out players. Cameron Carter-Vickers and Jota, both on-loan, were happy to sign long term contracts speaks volumes. We have added German Moritz Jenz on-loan with an option to buy. Jenz is so far the only loan, with Aaron Mooy joining as a free transfer after a spell in China.

Benjamin Siegrist also joined on a free, a solid back up to Joe Hart. Alexandro Bernabei arrived from Argentinian side Lanus, and already looks a good addition to battle Greg Taylor at left back. Ange has said he will add more if the opportunity arrives.

On the way out of Celtic Park, has been a few players on loan, Liam Scales, Ismaila Soro, Osaze Urhoghide, Adam Montgomery, Connor Hazard and Vasilis Barkas. Scales, Montgomery and Hazard are the only ones likely to be back next season.

We also lost Nir Bitton, Tom Rogic, Karamolo Dembele and Boli Bolingoli from last seasons first team. Bitton and Rogic are the only players out of all who have left who would have contributed this season.

We can still expect some movement out with the likes of Mikey Johnston and Albian Ajeti being linked with moves away.

Aberdeen will be looking to improve on last season, with former Celt Jim Goodwin now able to stamp his authority in the squad. Ten new players have arrived and plenty have departed.

They have lost a few players who were first team regulars, long serving Andy Considine left on a free and they received big money for Lewis Ferguson who moved to Bologna and Calvin Ramsay who moved to Liverpool. The Dons will be targeting a return to the top six.

All the talk before Ange arrived was that his teams take a while to get used to his high intensity play and its the second season where things really click! If that is true then we are in for an amazing season as Ange’s Champions Go Again..

Words Mick O’ Kane

Pics Martin Donaldson

 

King of Kings Henrik Larsson

The arrival of the King if Kings Henrik Larsson at Celtic Park came after a protracted wrangle over his contract with former club Feyenoord. New manager Wim Jansen was building a team that he hoped could wrestle the title away from our old rivals on the other side of the city.

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Larsson was definitely worth the wait.  Maybe not noticeable in the first couple of matches. But over the next seven years we witnessed the talents of a truly world class striker. At  the peak of his footballing ability, easily making him the greatest modern day striker to have worn the hoops.

Henrik finished his spell at Celtic racking up 242 goals ranging from close range shots to sublimely wonderful headers, free kicks oh, & the occasional lob.   With every goal he carved his name deeper in to the history of the club & in to the hearts of the fans who had the thrill of watching him.  Everyone will have a favourite, but mine is a one off & was 33 years in the making.

Venue – Estádio do Bessa
Date – 24th April 2003
Match – Boavista 0 Celtic 1

When Celtic arrived in the Iberian peninsula for the 2nd leg of their UEFA Cup Semi-Final they knew they needed to keep it tight in defence & score at least one goal.  A nervous 90 minutes at Celtic Park in the late spring sunshine meant Celtic had some work to do following a 1 each draw.

A missed penalty from Larsson in the 1st leg made this particular trip that little more daunting.   However, this was a Celtic side who had already come through some difficult ties on visits to Spain, England  & Germany.

In what was a match full of tension & nerves, the hosts seemed happy to hold on to their away goals advantage from the first leg.  Half chances & snatched shots were traded as neither team could find a positive commanding rhythm. With time running out & desperation creeping into the prayers being offered by fans that magical moment arrived.

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After some neat passing in midfield the ball was diverted into the path of our talismanic striker. Larsson, off balance, scooped the ball passed the despairing arms of goalkeeper Ricardo into the Boavista goal.

The goal wasn’t a classic, it wasn’t spectacular but in that instant a 33 year wait to reach a European final was coming to an end.  The ball crossing the line in what felt like a slow motion replay is etched in Celtic fans minds in every corner of the world.  The celebrations from the goal lasted for weeks as fans made their plans to travel to our first European final since 1970.

King of Kings Henrik Larsson scored goals that helped us win league titles, cups & trebles, but the magnitude of that moment for me was the most euphoric and one that I will never forget.

c

Martin Donaldson is a Glasgow East End Bhoy,  He made my first trip to Celtic Park in 1983 for a 0-0 draw with Brechin City & thankfully that never put him off going back.   He now sits perched high in section 409 of the North Stand with his 2 kids making memories along the Celtic Way.

He loves picking out those matches from yester-year to find out much more about the legendary names & faces that have graced the Celtic Jersey over the years.  He is a keen fundraiser for The Celtic Foundation & The British Heart Foundation as they both strive to  make a difference and to change peoples lives all over the world.

Vickers and Carl Startfelt.

 

Moritz is fully aware of the pressures playing for Celtic

The loan with option to buy market has proved to be a successful transfer option so far under the guidance of Ange Postecoglou.  Three first team regulars in Carter-Vickers, Maeda and of course Jota all arrived at Celtic Park. With an option to buy clause at the start of their deal. Latest loan signing Moritz is fully aware of the pressures that come with playing for Celtic and that must win every game mentality is one which he relishes.

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The boss will look to replicate that fruitful agreement with new loan signing Moritz Jenz.

Moritz arrives in the east end of Glasgow from French Ligue1 side FC Lorient. Trading the battle to avoid relegation for the opportunity to challenge for honours domestically here in Scotland and in Europe.

The German born defender was articulate, engaging and positively beaming when he spoke to More than 90 Minutes Martin Donaldson at the fan media presser at Celtic Park on Friday. Following his first training session with his new teammates.

After playing one season in French and Swiss football. The defender is looking to put down roots. He feels Glasgow will allow him to become established and grow as a footballer.

Frustrated by the lack of game time at the end of the season with Lorient. He believes the style of play adopted here by Ange. The pressure to win every match will give him the opportunity to showcase his talents.

Since leaving the Fulham youth set up where he spent five years, he has had to adapt quickly.  Even at 21 years old he was expected to lead in a young team at Laussane-Sport in Switzerland. His performances helped seal a move to French Ligue 1 side FC Lorient. The opportunity to play against the biggest names in world football.

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He acknowledges this was a huge step up for him. This gave him the chance to pit his wits and aggressive defensive style against the likes of Messi, Icardi and former Celtic Park hero Moussa Dembélé.

Moritz hopes the experience gained in these stern tests have prepared him for a crack at keeping the European elite quiet in the Champions League with Celtic.

Fit and fresh after a good pre-season with Lorient the new Bhoy is eager to get started, pull on the famous Green and White Hoops and wear the badge with pride in the season ahead. As I mentioned above Moritz is fully aware of the pressures that come with playing for Celtic. and before he can look at representing the club on the biggest stage, he knows he will need to build a relationship with defensive rocks Cameron Carter-Vickers and Carl Startfelt.

 

 

Celtic Soul Podcast Returns

The Celtic Soul Podcast returns on audio across all platforms and on Celtic Fanzine TV on YouTube. With Celtic continuing to prepare for the new season.

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Celtic FC manager, Ange Postecoglou talks about the Tommy Burns Play. While Jota chats about his permanent move to Celtic.

Glasgow Poet Erin Boyle joins host Andrew Milne for a catch up. They discuss all things Celtic, Partick Thistle, The Kano Foundation, Poetry and the More than 90 Minutes Fanzine Community.

Erin reviews the Tommy Burns play and also talks about the bullying and abuse she has suffered as Celtic supporting poet both in the street and online.

If you’re watching on YouTube please hit the subscribe and alarm buttons so you never miss and episode.Thanks for listening. Celtic Soul Podcast returns next week for another episode.

 

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Religious hatred has no place in Celtic’s history

Religious hatred has no place in Celtic’s history. In recent months there has been a lot of division within the support about the place of Irish politics at Celtic Park. One of the main reasons for this debate is the “soon there’ll be no Protestants at all” add-on that has resurfaced at away matches. However, there’s no debate to be had.

We can all agree that that disgusting sectarian add-on has no place in Paradise, but it also has absolutely nothing to do with Irish Republican- ism. To conflate the two, or to compare Irish Rebel songs with that bigoted slur is the height of ignorance. Quite simply, religious hatred has no place in Celtic’s history, but Irish politics does… along with charity, faith, and football.

The freedom of Ireland was never far away from the minds of those involved in Celtic’s beginnings. The likes of William McKillop (Irish Nationalist MP for North Sligo and South Armagh) and Patrick Welsh (Irish Republican Brotherhood volunteer on the run who was key to Willie Maley signing) were among the club’s founding fathers, while Michael Davitt (Irish Republican Brotherhood member convicted of gun running) was named as the club’s second Patron and was invited, by Brother Walfrid et al, to lay the centre sod of shamrock smothered turf at the new Celtic Park in 1892.

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During said turf laying ceremony, God Save Ireland, a song about three then recently hanged Fenians known as the Manchester Martyrs, was performed by its composer T.D Sullivan. This was nothing unusual as songs of an Irish Nationalist nature were regularly sung by the club’s early committee members at functions, and Celtic were the only sporting organisation to send an official delegation to the 1896 Irish Race Convention in Dublin, which was designed to plot a route towards Irish Home Rule.

Those same Nationalist songs – A Nation Once Again, Wearing of the Green, and The Dear Little Shamrock – were sung by our earliest supporters on the terraces and aboard Brake Club carriages before being passed down the generations.

Ballad and song provided the link to home for the first exiled Irish men and women, and naturally that musical heritage was handed to their successors who have never stopped enjoying them among the Celtic faithful. It is not only a celebration of those who founded the club, or the community for which they primarily did so, but a celebration of many within the support’s own familial history.

Irish Rebel songs continue to be a major part of the matchday experience in the stands, on supporters’ buses and in pubs. The fans’ sense of Irish identity, and the political manifestation of its expression, has strong historical relevance.

Indeed, the Irish diaspora always kept a keen eye on the ancestral home and were inspired by the main cause moving from Nationalism to Republicanism, and the quest for Home Rule being replaced by outright independ- ence after the Easter Rising. The Scots Irish were enraged by the undemocratic partition of Ireland, just a few short years after the majority of the country had demonstrated its desire for an independent 32 County Repub- lic in the 1918 General Election. Witnessing six counties being torn from the other 26, Irish national sovereignty and democracy being violated, incensed those among the diaspora.

Meanwhile, the subsequent pogroms, intern- ment, and the Special Powers Act being inflicted upon Northern Nationalists did little to quell the Irish community’s boiling indignation as the new ‘Northern Ireland’ statelet violently rumbled through its infancy.

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It must be remembered that long after An Gorta Mór, there was another wave of Irish immigration to Glasgow in the 1920s (time of partition). These immigrants particularly came from border counties such as Donegal, Sligo & Cavan. Anti-partition feelings were very strong in those regions of Eire and Eamon De Valera, President of the Irish Free State from 1919 to 1922, once remarked:

“The financial contribu- tion to the Irish struggle from among the Scot- tish communities was in excess of funds from any other country, including Ireland.”

Much like the descendants of the first Irish immigrants to arrive in Scotland, the politics, songs, and culture of Ireland continued to be inherited by the offspring of those 1920s expatriates (Irish migration to Scotland has also continued a smaller scale since).

After the Civil War ended across the water, almost 50 years of discrimination against Northern Catholics in housing, voting and employment rarely went unnoticed. The emergence of the Civil Rights movement, followed by the Battle of the Bogside, the burning of Bombay Street and the long struggle for a United Ireland, radicalised the Irish around the world to varying degrees. Throughout these times the presence of Ulster based fans at Parkhead, and the Glasgow Irish experience of discrimi- nation mirroring the oppressive hardships endured (to a lesser extent) by those in the North of Ireland, made songs about these events feel relevant to the Celtic faithful.

Speaking of fans based outside of Scotland, it is important to note how they also impacted upon the faithful’s political identity. Celtic enjoys huge support from the global Irish diaspora and across Ireland itself. These people solidify ties to the country and often hold Nationalist or Republican views.

However, the most influential cohort from a historical perspective has been those who previously followed Belfast Celtic until the Irish club’s demise in 1949. It was then that Paradise was lost in Antrim and found in Glasgow. As a result, Celtic inherited the sole allegiance of a fervent support, who would soon become politicised by the unfolding of the Troubles.

Celtic was to become their social outlet, and a place to freely express themselves, as the Flags & Emblems Act had criminalised public expression of Irish identity in the occupied six counties. The presence of so many Belfast Celtic fans, and subsequently their descend- ants, at Paradise added to the eminence of Irish culture and further radicalised an already politically minded diaspora.

Political songs were once the mainstay of the Celtic songbook, but although they continue to play a key role in the match day experience, they have become the preserve of the away support and vocal pockets at home games since the mid-1990s.

Those who sing them contend that Irish Rebel songs tell the story of the struggle for Irish freedom, commemorate patriots, and remember the hardships endured by the Irish over the years. Famous musician Derek Warfield, in his Celtic & Ireland in Song and Story book, describes them in the following way

“These historical songs and ballads have been used by the Irish people to defend and propagate the many related causes of Ireland. They have been known to educate and inform, to bring knowledge and truth through literature and poetry. Above all, the lyrics and tunes in Celtic & Ireland in Song and Story (which are sung by the Celtic support) are far reaching, educational, and of course, provide a great source of pleasure.”

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For a considerable section of the Celtic support, Irish Repub- lican ballads are the foundation of their cultural identity, in combination with non-political songs. Politics is one of the distinct things about Celtic and is the reason why the club’s Irish based support is more concen- trated in the North of Ireland. In that sense, away games are probably more reflective of a subgenre within Irish culture, with the home matches largely reflecting the type of folk songs that the wider Irish population may enjoy – the likes of the Fields of Athenry, Let the People Sing, Lonesome Boat- man etc.

This subgenre outrages some unsympathetic people in the 26 counties of Ireland that already have their freedom and has coveted a lot of controversy in Britain. Although these songs do not contain sectarian litera- ture in their lyrics, they are believed to be sectarian by many ill-informed people in Britain.

More accurately, they remember and laud those who are viewed as terrorists by Free Staters and the British public, most of whom have little understanding of the Troubles. To explain why sections of Celtic fans (and the Irish diaspora around the globe disagree with such opinions, even if they share a disdain for some of the actions undertaken by the organisations they sing about, it would require an analysis of Irish history, delving into the policy of Ulsterisation and suchlike, which is impossi- ble to provide in full comprehensivity here.

Political websites or books would be more appropriate platforms for such complex content to be digested, and to get a greater insight into the accurate nature of the recent conflict in Ireland but suffice it to say that the anti-imperialist struggle to achieve national liberation from a foreign invader and the true cause of the war (a civil rights struggle beaten into the ground) do not match the ‘medieval religious squabble’ or ‘terrorist’ narratives presented by the media.

If a small section of our fanbase is too ignorant to read about the subject, see through British and Irish Government propa- ganda, or recognise Rebel songs as a legitimate form of cultural expression for the majority of our supporters, who hail from Irish extraction, then that is their problem.

They can carry on believing that ten men gave their lives on hunger strike because they hated Protestants if they like. Just as they can denounce the IRA for their bombing campaigns in pursuit of freedom (despite a very low percentage of civilian casualties), while likely seeing nothing wrong with the RAF bombing Berlin during the Battle of Britain or killing hundreds of thousands of civilians to retain freedom during WWII. Such ignorance is reminiscent of the lack of education displayed by the bigots who desecrated a song about Irish unity with a derogatory add-on aimed at Protestants – totally unaware that modern Irish Republicanism is a secular move- ment which was founded by Presbyterians such as Wolfe Tone, Henry Joy McCracken, Samuel Neilson etc.

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Whether one likes rebel songs or endorses previous armed struggles is a personal matter, but what nobody can deny is the fact that the politics of Irish freedom have a clear place in Celtic’s history and the heritage of the communities from which its core support is derived.

Religious hatred has no place in Celtic’s history. On that note I will bring my rant to a close.

Hailing from an Irish background,Liam Kelly was born in Bournemouth in 1996, with the good fortune of watching Celtic during the Martin O’Neill era. Still living on the south coast,He has a season ticket in the Lisbon Lions Stand and travels to European away matches when possible.
At the age of 19, he published his first Celtic book (Our Stories & Our Songs: The Celtic Support), which focuses exclusively on the Celtic faithful throughout the club’s history. Last year he published his second book (Take Me To Your Paradise: A History Of Celtic-Related Incidents & Events), which has now sold out in Waterstones and Official Celtic stores. His third book (Walfrid & Bould Bhoys), which he co-authored with Matt Corr and David Potter, was published in September 2020 and is stocked in all official Celtic stores.

 

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