Dundee Celtic Travel Club…
Founded on 4 May, 1948, after an intimation was placed in the Public Notices column of the Dundee Telegraph on page 7. It read ‘Celtic Supporters Association (Dundee Branch). Anyone wishing to become a member of the above club should apply by letter to T. McGovern, Secretary, c/o R. Fraser, 80 Blackness Road, on or before 12 May, 1948.’
Considering the results of the season that had just ended, credit must be paid to the founding members of this club, who had faith and determination to launch the club at that time. However, as we all know, Celtic supporters are famous for their loyalty and dedication to the cause, and the members in 1948 were the same as the current members, who are and always will be ‘faithful through and through.’
In the years that have elapsed since 1948, the Dundee Celtic Travel Club has had various premises throughout the city, and the mention of these will no doubt bring back fond memories for many. The first premises were in East Henderson’s Wynd, in a condemned property, one stair up, with basic conditions, but presided over with great dignity by John Murphy.
The joining fee was £1–10 shillings, and every member was obliged to sell at least 5 shillings worth of ‘doubles’ to generate some revenue for the club. The 1955 re-development of that part of Dundee meant that new premises had to be found. These were found courtesy of John Feeney, who was not a club member. He allowed the club the use of the Star Ballroom for the monthly meetings, but the stay there was short-lived when it became apparent that John was trying to use the members names and addresses as a base for forming a social club of his own.
This became obvious when the police started visiting the members at their homes to check up on them, a situation that was unacceptable to the members, and therefore the club was on the move once again.
In 1956, the club rented a two-story building at 101 Hilltown from the Diocese of Dunkeld, up an opening next to the Plaza cinema, and was there for almost 38 years, until 20 March 1994, when again they had to move as that whole area came under re-development.
Peter Walls and Jim Brady, a well-known local bookmaker, provided the funding to purchase the lease of the building. Peter Walls was in Bridge of Earn hospital recovering from a broken ankle in the week of Lisbon. Jim Brady turned up at the hospital on his way to Glasgow airport and said, ‘Peter, last chance, are you coming?’ Peter signed himself out of the hospital and phoned his mother Ellen to tell her not to bother visiting as he was off to Lisbon.
If anybody ever sees a picture of a Celtic fan in Lisbon with a stookie, it is most probably Peter. On 21 March, 1994, the CSC moved to premises in Lochee. However, this was not the success that had been hoped for, and after a relatively brief period of 3–4 years, the premises were closed, and the club members were homeless until 2002, when they moved into the 67 Club in Raglan Street. Unfortunately, 67 Club has since closed, so they are now leaving from Airlie Arms pub in Dundonald Street.
Happy 80th birthday to our bus convener/club president Shug Burke 🍀🎂 pic.twitter.com/xo335Py79N
— Dundee Celtic Travel (@DundeeCeltic) July 29, 2023
Despite all the moving around, the Travel Club has continued to run transportation to every domestic game, both home and away, and will hopefully continue to do so for years to come. Characters over the years include Eddie Greenan, Danny Reilly, Stuartie Dickson, Ella Pender, and Nellie Ward, who got up on the stage at the end of every Sunday and belted out ‘The Celtic Song’ up until she was about 96 years old.
Our flag even made the news 👏 pic.twitter.com/pxRUae0ZXG
— Dundee Celtic Travel (@DundeeCeltic) November 7, 2023
Memorable European trips include Seville, Stuttgart, and Borussia Mönchengladbach. After the Paris Saint-Germain game, Jim McGovern somehow got split up from the other members, and when he got to the airport, he had missed his flight. The French airport check-in staff were great and eventually got him on a flight to Glasgow on Celtic’s chartered plane with all the team and officials.
David McIntyre – CelticBars.com
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. Watch the video in the Celtic World tweet below for some amazing facts on the Celtic support around the world.
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.