Football Without Fans – John Clark and Tommy Burns Jersey CSC

John Clark and Tommy Burns Jersey CSC…

Founded in 1989, but people who had moved to Jersey from Scotland and Ireland have been following Celtic from Jersey since the 1960’s. The club was founded by Pat Brennan, who used to own the Aurora Bar, which was the main pub the CSC was based for many years.

At the inaugural supporters dance in May 1989, Peter Grant was meant to be the guest of honour, but due to being called up to play for Scotland against England, Tommy Burns replaced him. As a result, the CSC was named after Tommy, who returned to Jersey many times over the years, and to this day they keep in touch with his wife, Rosemary Burns, and she continues to attend the annual Jersey CSC dance.

Tommy Burns. Photo: Mark Leech / Offside.

The club was originally known as the Tommy Burns Jersey CSC, but following the 50th Anniversary of the Lisbon Lions, they came to realise that John Clark was the only Lisbon Lion to their knowledge who did not have a CSC named after him. John Clark, Bertie Auld, and Bobby Lennox were all in attendance at the club dance in 2017 when the CSC then became known as the John Clark and Tommy Burns Jersey CSC.

21.05.2015. – Scott Brown with Lisbon Lion John Clark Photo Vagelis Georgariou

The club is currently run by Pat Brennan, Gerard McCafferty, Graham Coyle, and Ross Rennie. The CSC is also known by its nickname ‘The-Suntan-Tims’ due to Jersey being sunnier than anywhere in Britain or Ireland (Jersey is NOT in the UK). They have been based in The Aurora, The Eastern, The Granville, and two current bars, The Soleil and Prince’s Bar.

Over the years, they have had various players and managers attend their events, including Bobby Murdoch, John Clark, Bertie Auld, Bobby Lennox, Tommy Burns, Tom Boyd, Jackie McNamara, John Hartson, Lubo, Alan Thompson, and Neil Lennon. Gerard M. Burns, the artist, also attended their dance in May 2022 and donated two signed prints to auction for charity.

Manchester United football manager Matt Busby handing the Team of the Year Trophy to Celtic manager Jock Stein, while the rest of the Celtic team hold the European cup trophy their had won the previous season, December 1967.

The legendary Manchester United manager and Celtic supporter, Sir Matt Busby, also dropped into The Aurora one afternoon for a pint. The founding father of CSC in Jersey, John ‘Gribby’ Gribbon, was a great character who had a wicked sense of humour and was great with one-liners. He would regale the younger generations with tales of the great Celtic sides and his trip to Lisbon in 1967 with fellow supporters, including Brian Dougan.

Due to Jersey being a small island, the weather can heavily dictate being able to travel off the island. A point in time occurred in October 2000, when Celtic were playing Bordeaux away. They were preparing to set off by boat from St Helier to St Malo in France, but due to heavy sea fog, the boats that day were cancelled.

Not to be deterred, a group went to the airport to try and get a flight to France. Unfortunately, no suitable flights were available, and adamant that they did not want to miss the game, they chartered a private jet to Bordeaux to travel to the match in style.

Celtic in Rennes in 2011

Due to Jersey’s proximity to France, they always have a strong following for games against French teams, and even more so when it is Rennes. When Celtic played Rennes in 2011 and 2019, this was effectively a home game for them, and around 300 travelled on each trip. Many of the fellow Celtic fans in Rennes were amazed that it was quicker for them to travel to Rennes than it was to get to Celtic Park.

Celtic in Rennes in 2019

When Celtic played Ajax away in 2013, Jersey CSC completely filled the only direct flight from Jersey to Amsterdam Schiphol. Celtic played Malmo in August 2015, and a few of the Bhoys headed over to Sweden for the away leg. On the day of the game, they were in a restaurant grabbing a bite to eat before heading for a few beers.

The waitress heard their accents and realised that they were over for the match. She told the group that there were a couple of guys at the back of the restaurant that they might recognise. Heading through, the guys were delighted to see Chris Sutton and The King of Kings Henrik Larsson catching up before the game. Both were more than happy to have a chat and pose for some selfies.

In May 1993, Liam Brady brought a Celtic side, including Tom Boyd, Paul McStay, and Frank McAvennie, to play Jersey Scottish in a friendly. The Hoops eventually ran out 4-0 winners, but not before CSC member and Jersey Scottish player Pat Brennan nutmegged Barry Smith.

May 21st 2017, Celtic Park, Jim Craig and Willie Wallace stand guard over the league trophy making sire that Tom Boyd doesn’t lose it! Photo Vagelis Georgariou

On a trip over to Jersey in the early 2000s, Tom Boyd was the guest of honour and brought over the League Cup. After a couple of days of dancing and singing, the League Cup was nowhere to be seen. Tom was starting to panic, as he would need to explain to the Celtic hierarchy how he managed to lose the cup. Luckily, a phone call was received from the local police station on a Sunday afternoon, and the cup was safe and sound at the station after spending a night in the cells.

The CSC supports both local and international charities. The charities they currently support are Breast Cancer Support Jersey and The Celtic Foundation. They also support local summer soccer schools run by Jersey Scottish FC, with coaching provided by coaches from Celtic. They are the most southerly CSC in the British Isles.

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.

Coming soon from the makers of The Celtic Star

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

Comments are closed.