Football Without Fans – Arthur McKenna CSC, Lochgelly

Arthur McKenna CSC, Lochgelly


Lochgelly CSC held its inaugural meeting in September 1966 in the Connemara pub in Lochgelly. Following advice from Pat King, who was secretary of the Royal Oak Social Club, aka Fenwicks, at the time, he assisted the Bhoys looking to start the club with advice on the constitution and office bearers.

Original members were Tosh Foley, James O’Hare, James Geatons, Eddie Geatons, Barry Kinch, Arthur McKenna, Alex ‘Budgie’ Kinnear, John Cusick, Joey Mitchell, Mick Cusick, John McLeod, Mick Lee, John Lee, Willie Barclay, Pat Belton, Mick Kirk, and John Mackie. Unfortunately, Tosh Foley, James O’Hare, Arthur McKenna, and Pat Belton are no longer with them, and all have been honoured with honorary memberships.

Budgie Kinnear and Joey Mitchell, both still members today, have also been given honorary membership in the club. John Lee, a local postman, painted the first members board that was displayed on the supporters bus. Current members who were also members in the early days of the club include Shug Cusick and Arthur McKenna Jr. (Artie) both now honorary members too, as well as Harry Fleming and Brian Gavin.

In the early days, they would hire coaches from Rennie or Alexander’s Coaches until 1971, when the decision was made to buy their own coach. Budgie, who had volunteered to drive it, along with a few others, went to view the coach in Newburgh, Fife, and handed over £300 to Gilmartin Contractors.

It was thought the bus had been regularly used to transport tattie pickers, so you can imagine the state it was in. The bus soon developed a few issues and was a bit noisy. A couple of weeks later, on the way home from a game, Budgie asked Shug Cusick why no one was singing. Shug told Budgie the members were singing their heads off; Budgie just couldn’t hear them because of the noisy gearbox.

The members were forever asking Budgie to stop at a boozer on the way home, and they soon got their wishes as the bus regularly broke down around Kincardine, so while Budgie fixed it, the members enjoyed a refreshment or two in a local hostelry to pass the time. Around 1971, the club started using Moffat & Williamson for their weekly bus hires and continued with them for nearly 50 years. They now use Festival Travel.

Social nights in the early days were held in the Queens Hotel, nicknamed ‘the Pie and Beans’ with bigger functions moving to the local town hall, which is still used by the club today for such functions. The earliest POTY dance remembered was 1969, and their POTY was John Hughes. John was collected by a club member from Starks Park in Kirkcaldy and driven up to Lochgelly for the dance. Tommy Gemmell came along too for the night out.

Tommy Gemmell 

The club also has an honorary president, Chic Geatons, who was a former player for Celtic who took over in goal the day John Thomson was fatally injured. Chic is buried in Lochgelly cemetery. The John Thomson Memorial Committee holds an annual children’s football tournament in Johnny’s memory. It takes place every year, usually the first weekend in September, in Bowhill, the next village to Lochgelly.

Their club has been involved in this, both on their committee and as volunteers since its inception 40 years ago. One of their founding members, Arthur McKenna Sr. sadly passed away in December 2002. At this time, Arthur was their club secretary, a role he had held for a number of years. He was hugely respected and revered by all who knew him, and was a huge loss to their club and, of course, his family.

The best honour they believed they could pay him was to rename their club in his memory. After all, everybody called it Arthur’s bus. As it was in their constitution that the club name should never be changed, they had to enlist the help of a local lawyer to assist. So in 2004, they renamed the club Arthur McKenna Lochgelly CSC.

Over the years, the club has been very proud of their charity work and is always looking to raise money and donate as much as possible to local charities and those close to their hearts. Through the Celtic Foundation, they support and sponsor the Lions Legacy: 67 Kitchens. One of the kitchens in Malawi is named after their club. The club now holds its social events and meetings at the Old Ship Inn in Lochgelly.

The pub is owned and run by a good friend of the club, Robert Paxton. Over the years, they have had many different office-bearers. Mark Cameron was president for 28 years until he stood down in 2018. Mark was honoured with an honorary membership in 2020.

Mark was replaced by Sean Houston, and he is still their president. After Arthur passed away, John McPhillips took over as secretary at the 2003 AGM. John, who had been a member since 1988, is still secretary 20 years later. Scott McDonald is their club treasurer, and Mick Miller is club vice president.

Their current committee is made up of Derek Hamilton, Brian Schulz, Murray Schulz, Garry French, Shug Cusick, Harry Fleming, Sean Boyle, Lewis Dunsire, and Marc Nicol. In the 2023–24 season, the club has 65 season ticket holders and a further 12 members without a season ticket. They take a 70-seater coach to all home games and have pick-up points in Glenrothes, Kinglassie, Ballingry, Lochgelly, Cowdenbeath, and Rosyth.

David McIntyre –

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?

Just before Christmas, David McIntyre from Celtic Bars was interviewed by Celtic TV about his Football Without Fans book. Here’s the video on Celtic TV’s You Tube channel . You can order a copy in print or kindle from Amazon regardless of where you are in the world. Order your copy HERE.


About Author

The Celtic Star founder and editor David Faulds 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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