The Key is in the word, SUPPORTer. Do you want to have a family night out and be entertained? Maybe go to the cinema instead. Want to bring the family to the game and sing your hearts out, jump, scream and shout? Then follow me.
Being a football supporter isn’t about heading down the pub for a few hours at the weekend, it’s about having an active interaction with the place and team you love. It’s about being there.
I am reasonable, I accept that not every single person in a 60,000 seater stadium is going to be as obsessively interested in Celtic as I am or indeed the vast majority of CeltsAreHere readers are. That would be ridiculous and rather over-expectant.
What I can say and what I can suggest is that if you are the person who doesn’t know many songs, doesn’t know the whole team sheet and their back-stories, then maybe, just maybe allowing the atmosphere to take over you will allow you to enjoy our beautiful team and the experience so much more. Likewise, if you are a Celtic supporter who is yet to visit Paradise, please lads and ladies, put it top of your bucket list! You will not be disappointed.
There is the Mediterranean football fan mindset of waiting to be entertained, whilst in Scotland, and Germany, we scream for every throw, corner and “incorrect” decision. It’s incredibly attractive. Like most things, you get more out of an experience if you put more into it. There is the 12th man cliché that we always hear. It’s an underrated statement because it is so overused but the fact of the matter is that it’s emphatically true – We Do Matter. After all the supporters are the last true bastion of loyalty in modern football.
The video of the scouse Liverpool supporter giving his list of things that are wrong with supporters at the Kop has been extensively viewed by football supporters. In many ways he was right and you can imagine a member of the Green Brigade being similarly annoyed about constantly being relied upon to create a better atmosphere. One of the main things he mentioned was the day-trippers. I can only speak from my own perspective as a “day-tripper” travelling from Dublin. The lads I travel with are some of the most barmy Celtic supporters, with a seriously encyclopaedic knowledge of their team. Shout out to Naomh Pádraig CSC! I would love to hear the perspective of Glaswegian bhoys. Is it something that is more prominent in England or is it something that is also problematic at Celtic Park? One thing is for sure, there are far quieter stadia in Britain than Celtic Park (the Emirates is like a Library), but it is something that is definitely still worth talking about. Improvement is always possible.
We as Celtic supporters are lucky, most fans would say that supporting a football team isn’t actually fun, more a sadistic infliction of self-harm with the intermittent joyous occasion. But it is intoxicating; it keeps bringing you back for more. We are lucky because we rarely go long without a trophy and at present we have a free-flowing, attractive and totally dominant side to enjoy. It’s hard to think of many times since 2000 when I went to my first game when the Celtic faithful had it any better. Oh, and is it boring seeing us going on massive winning runs as fans of other clubs rather idiotically suggest? Of course not! It’s bloody brilliant!
So no, I’m not a fan, I’m a supporter, I stand alongside the millions of people worldwide who went totally primal when Tony Watt brought Barca to their knees but who also clapped their hands in deep amaze when Sinclair defied physics against Albion Rovers. It’s about saying that you were there, no matter where there is.
So sing loud and sing proud.
“We’re the Celtic Supporters, Faithful Through and Through”
Kevin John Thomson