Football Without Fans – Black Country Che Guevara CSC

Black Country Che Guevara CSC…

Founded in 1998 by Dermot, Sean, and Poko O’Connor, who wanted to meet like-minded Celtic supporters and travel up to Paradise for games. The original base for the club was in West Bromwich, and being based in the Black Country, that name was adopted.

Originally, the CSC was run by Dermot O’Connor. He took charge of it until 2001, when he moved away from the area. From that point on, Dave Bradshaw took over running the club, and he remains the president to this day. The aims of the CSC remain the same as they were at their inception: to bring like-minded people together to celebrate all things Celtic as part of the wider Celtic family.

They are a vibrant and active club and have in the region of 60 members. All members receive a membership card and badge. Their member’s badges have become renowned in the Celtic community and attract interest from collectors throughout the world. The majority of their members would identify as being of either Irish or Scottish descent.

The club has been based in many bars during its history, earning a bit of a reputation for being nomadic. Until 2010, the club was based at the Red Lion, Manor House, Woodlands Street Social Club, Perry Hill Tavern, and the Moilliett Arms. The club then moved to St Patrick’s Club in June 2010, which has become their established home and where they enjoy a positive and welcoming relationship with owners Phil and Olivia.

They are proud to be associated with St Patrick’s Club, which has catered for the social needs of the local Irish community for many years. They will also be found at St Pat’s for televised Celtic games and have developed a reputation throughout the West Midlands for being the premier venue to meet and watch games.

Every year in July, they hold their AGM and it was in July 2008 that they adopted the name of Che Guevara and incorporated it into their name in recognition of the iconic political revolutionary figure, who has inspired oppressed nations throughout the world to organise and agitate for change.

This move also reflected the club’s strong working-class membership and political links by supporting Celtic in the struggle in the 32 counties of Ireland. The club strives to forge strong links with other CSCs throughout the UK, in particular throughout the West Midlands and surrounding areas.

They have been associated with Wolverhampton Shamrock CSC and Birmingham Sons of Erin 32 CSC for many years. They are also active members of the Central and South Celtic Supporters Alliance, which was established in 2004 and is comprised of Wolverhampton Shamrock CSC, Birmingham Sons of Erin 32 CSC, Reading Martin O’Neil CSC, Oxon Shamrock CSC, Swindon Shamrock CSC, and Yardley CSC.

They used to be much more active when travelling to games in years gone by, regularly embarking on the 580-mile round trip by minibus. As their members got older, the trips by minibus became more infrequent, and most of them now prefer the comfort of a train or plane trip to Glasgow with overnight stays rather than travelling to Glasgow and back in the same day.

They have had some memorable experiences on their travels over the years. Paul O’Mahony, then of the Birmingham Sons of Erin 32 CSC and now a member of their CSC, was a willing driver in what was affectionately known as ‘The Rebel Bus,’ fitting for those who identified with Che Guevara.

They organise annual events at the end of the season, at Christmas, and more recently, their annual pool tournament, which all raise revenue for their nominated charities. Over the years, they have organised events putting on bands such as Spirit of Freedom, The Flying Column, and Damien Quinn, raising money for charities including Bradbury Day Centre (cancer care), St Mary’s Hospice, Chris’s House (suicide awareness), and more recently Black Country Foodbank, Acorns Children’s Hospice, and Brushstrokes (supporting asylum seekers and refugees.)

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 this week on The Celtic Star, the Celtic supporters website. Will it be your CSC that’s featured?

.You can order a copy in print or kindle from Amazon where ever you are in the world. Order your copy HERE

CLICK TO VISIT OUR NEW SISTER SITE – CELTICSHORTS.COM
Help raise funds for Celtic Youth Academy by playing the Celtic Pools Weekly Lottery and you could win up to £25,000. The lottery is £1 per week and if you join today you will receive a Premium Boxed Celtic Pen & Pencil Set.

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

Comments are closed.