A Message to the English Media – Why Rod Stewart supports Celtic

Rod Stewart is getting stick south of the border for supporting Celtic and Scotland, rather than the Three Lions and a club team closer to where he was brought up.

Now English clubs like Manchester United, Liverpool and Arsenal have fans all over the world, many will wear these clubs’ colours yet a very large percentage have never seen them play and indeed have never even been to England.

They watch the English Premier League on satellite television as it’s broadcast around the world. There are players from all over the planet who are at the very top of the game playing for these clubs and the global media exposure funds their presence in English football and makes the current set-up possible.

And we’re not just talking about Asia, Africa, America and across continental Europe. Even in Ireland the advent of Sky Sports has resulted in so many ‘new’ fans emerging for clubs in England. There’s footage on You Tube of Celtic beating Manchester City in the early 1990s in a match played in Ireland. At least three quarters of the supporters there were in Celtic colours. If that game happened now Celtic’s chances would be slimmer and so too would the numbers of local supporters opting to follow the Hoops.

Again Celtic played (and defeated) Liverpool in Dublin around eight years ago and the size of the crowd wearing red was greater than green. Celtic, even with our proud Irish heritage is suffering as supporters jump on the high profile glamour of English football.

So it’s a bit rich when the little Englanders get on Rod Stewart’s back for having the brass neck to support a Scottish club and follow the national side, as his dad was from Leith.

“I am English, I have never pretended to be a Scotsman,” Rod told Talk Radio yesterday.

Why does he support Scotland and not England? “My Dad was from Leith and was a Hibs fan & that rubbed off on me.”

And why does he support Celtic and not an English club closer to where he was brought up? “I met Jock Stein and since that day I was a Celtic fan, I was so enamoured.”

Remember, any English fans reading this, Celtic were the first club from Britain to win the European Cup and the first to appear in two European Cup Finals. For six of seven years Celtic was up there as one of the leading clubs in European football. For instance the legendary Leeds United side of played Celtic in the semi-final of the European Cup in 1970 and the English media reckoned that the Scots need not bother tuning up. Celtic won home and away

Jock Stein and Bertie Auld celebrate reaching the European Cup Final in 1967

That was under Jock Stein and that’s why Rod Stewart is a Celtic supporter. Simple really.

“We did it by playing football. Pure, beautiful, inventive football,” Jock Stein said. He was referring to the European Cup win in 1967 but it also works for how he got Rod Stewart to become a Celtic supporter.

About Author

The Celtic Star founder and editor, who has edited numerous Celtic books over the past decade or so including several from Lisbon Lions, Willie Wallace, Tommy Gemmell and Jim Craig. Earliest Celtic memories include a win over East Fife at Celtic Park and the 4-1 League Cup loss to Partick Thistle as a 6 year old. Best game? Easy 4-2, 1979 when Ten Men Won the League. Email editor@thecelticstar.co.uk


  1. Rod I’d tell them to FQ OFF, what business is of anyones which team you support?
    Most of them swap allegiances when and where it suits them.
    When I used to frequent a local pub in Devon, I saw the same guy wearing three ( 3 ) yes THREE different clubs tops in a three year period. The term glory hunter was made for folk like that.
    Again tel them to do one Rod,

  2. wilkinssscreamer on

    I really like Mr Stewart because he loves his football.

    ps Im a teddy bear etc.


  3. thomas McGuinness on

    I can remember standing on the slopes of Paradise singing “We are sailing” Gawn yersel Rod

  4. Celtic could and should be doing far more to promote the Club in Ireland, North and South.They don’t promote the historical Irish connection to its foundation near enough over here.
    They need to invest far more in marketing the Club in Ireland in my opinion.

  5. I remember going over to Dublin for the Waterford game in 1970. I was amazed by the amount of special boats and trains that were advertised in the papers for games in Liverpool, Manchester, Leeds etc. Celtic’s support in Ireland has never been as big as it could be and as some people imagine it to be. Here in Auckland I know a lot of Scottish and Irish guys. If you ask a Scottish guy who he supports he will tell you a Scottish team. I have never met an Irish guy who says he supports an Irish team. A few are Celtic fans but for the majority it’s the likes of West Ham, Liverpool, Man Utd, Arsenal.