Celtic Football Club was formed in late 1887 with the Irish diaspora in mind. Founded by Irishmen and their descendants for the poor multi-generational Irish communities of St Mary’s, St Michael’s and Sacred Heart, the club could be said to have refugees at the centre of its DNA.
Indeed, many of those behind Celtic’s foundation were refugees, or the offspring of refugees, who fled Ireland as a result of the famine/genocide. Further waves of Irish migration followed as a result of the economic effects of that tragedy, in addition to the political turmoil that was the partition of Ireland in the 1920s.
In that sense, refugees fleeing war, death and political instability have much in common with the club. Therefore, it was wonderful to note Glasgow Afghan United’s post on Twitter yesterday evening, which expressed delight at being invited to visit Celtic Park for the match against Dundee.
Afghan refugees from across Scotland were welcomed to the match by Celtic FC Foundation. They enjoyed a great experience with late drama on the pitch.
It was wild weather but the new #Afghan refugees from around #Scotland had a ball at Parkhead today watching @CelticFC VS @DundeeFC. Football is universal! Thanks so much to the club and Celtic FC Foundation for your generosity to our community. #NewScots #inclusion pic.twitter.com/N6sgMMUraU
— GlasgowAfghanUnited (@GlasgowAU) February 20, 2022
We wish them all the best in their new life in Scotland and hope that they enjoy living in a peaceful society.
This was a great gesture by the Celtic Foundation and one which the founding fathers of the club would wholly endorse.