Cumbernauld No.1 CSC – Willie Haughey, a live lobster and the body in the hearse

Football Without Fans – Cumbernauld No.1 CSC

Founded in the 1979/80 season, after the demise of the notorious St Joseph’s 9 in a Row CSC, by Jackie Stewart, Pat Dunese, Jim Meechan, and Eddie Campbell. The only way to join the club was through an application process. The bus had and still has a strictly no alcohol policy on board, which was a contrast to the party-hard St Joseph’s bus.

They originally left from the Maltings Bar in Abronhill and picked up at Cumbernauld Town Centre. However, after a few years, the committee made the decision to leave Moriarty’s Bar and travel to The Tavern in Tollcross.

Moriarty’s sponsored the bus with a large banner that had both the club’s name and the name of the bar on it. The money that the bar made from the bus was kept in a separate account, and in return, at the end of the season, members of the club were given free drinks.

They have always been involved in generous charity work over the last 40 years, from bus dances to individual fundraisers. The club always gives one-time donations as well as a monthly donation to the local food bank. Another example of the generosity of their members was when they raised enough money to provide one of their members’ brother-in-law’s supportive mobility chair to help aid his lifestyle.

Over the years, their club has evolved into a social group, not just for travelling to see Celtic but for regular nights out. They also have a strong sense of community, with active members from Cumbernauld all the way to America and Gibraltar, and many non-members travelling with them regularly to games.

With the ongoing scarcity of away tickets, the bus has forged a friendship with Neilson CSC to share the cost of travelling to away games. In 1995, they had a dinner dance at the Knights of Columba in Moodiesburn, and one of the committee members, Stevie Brown, was stepping down from his role on the bus as chairman.

Their guest of honour was Willie Haughey

At this dance, their guest of honour was Willie Haughey. Their chairman for that season was Sam Chalmers, and he had written a lengthy speech to prepare. He was a nervous wreck, as this was his first dance as chairman. Minutes before Sam’s speech, Willie asked if he could read over Sam’s words to ‘help him out’ and let him know what he thought of them.

To Sam’s horror, Willie then proceeded to rip the speech up right in front of him. As the colour drained from Sam’s face, Willie, clearly unprepared himself, then retorted ‘That’s us both screwed now; we’ll just need to wing it.’ This was Sam’s first and last year as chairman of the committee.

Stories from their many European trips start with their Porto trip, when, after a lengthy day of drinking, they discovered a hearse parked outside the pub. One of their members, Thomas Butler, decided to crawl into the back and pretend he was dead, with many locals passing by looking inside mournfully. However, they were absolutely horrified when he sat upright, still alive, and gave them a fright.

Additionally, when they travelled to Stuttgart, they acquired a ceramic duck from one of the pubs that they were drinking in, which then became the mascot for their bus for many years. This became a tradition among their members to acquire souvenirs from pubs and restaurants they visited. Another time, when members were sitting in a restaurant in Lyon, there was a display with fish nets and plastic lobsters above a lobster tank. They decided to take one of the plastic lobsters as a souvenir; however, one of their younger members, Raymond Boland, misunderstood the instructions and, when he got outside, opened his jacket and asked, ‘What am I supposed to do with this?’ He had taken a live lobster from the tank instead.

The current committee consists of some of the original older members along with their new younger members, which consist of Brain Crampshee, Kevin Malarkey, Jake Milton, Declan Reid, and Jordan Trindade. They are now at the stage where the original members’ families are now in a position to take over the bus and the responsibilities, hopefully being able to pass them on to the generations to come.

An extract from Football Without Fans – The History of Celtic Supporters Clubs by David McIntyre ( Celtic Bars). Football Without Fans – The History of Celtic Supporters Clubs is out now and available in print and kindle versions HERE.

More from Football Without Fans tomorrow on The Celtic Star, the Celtic supporters website. Will it be your CSC that’s featured?

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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

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