Football Without Fans – Lomond CSC

Lomond CSC…

Lomond CSC was founded in the 1970–71 season. During the early 70s, Dumbarton and Vale of Leven had a massive Celtic support attending most games, with popular CSCs like Renton, Vale of Leven, Phoenix, and Brucehill.

As they approached the Celtic vs. Leeds 1970 European Cup semi-final, a few like-minded individuals from the Antartex factory decided to run a bus to Hampden for the game. Among the organisers was Willie Tomlin, who went on to become one of the founding members of the new bus for the start of the 1970/71 season.

After the first AGM in Dumbarton Burgh Hall, a committee was elected, and it was agreed to call the club Lomond CSC, with 70 members registered with Celtic at a cost of 2/6 per head. The first bus was for a pre-season friendly at Hampden against Manchester City on 4th August, 1970.

A crowd of 67,200 watched Celtic take on Manchester City at Celtic Park on 4 August 1970

This was followed by a few well-attended League Cup games and a Glasgow Cup Final at Hampden before their first home game against Morton on August 29th.

Tommy Gemmell scores against Rangers in the 1970 Glasgow Cup Final which Celtic win 3-1.
Bobby Lennox scores against Moron on 29 August 1970

Following the early success for the club, Pat Gow, a member of the then-defunct Helensburgh CSC, contacted the Lomond to see if they would be interested in an intake of members from the Helensburgh bus. This was agreed, and on January 23, 1971, the Helensburgh Bhoys joined the Lomond CSC. Documented members of the time were Pat Gow, Paul McCann, J McCann, M Ward, S Narockie, F McElroy, J McGourley, E Hanson, J Welsh, A. Hughes, B McQuigan, J Redmond, F Mailey, G Grey, O McGinley, J Walsh, J Cavana, J Marshall, P Canno, and F Mailer.

The first half of the 1970s was a busy time for Celtic, who won nine in a Row and did well in Europe. During this period, the Lomond ran two buses. One starting from Helensburgh, the other from the Vale of Leven, both picking up in Dumbarton. For larger games, they ran three buses. 1971–72 was a season of change for the CSC, with Jim McGlynn becoming chairman and Willie Tomlin joining the committee, eventually becoming secretary. Pat Gow and Peter Cannon became bus stewards, and with Pat Connor as treasurer, this brought some stability to the club, allowing them to start organising social events for members.

Evan Williams

At the end of the 1971–1972 season, their first annual dance was held in Dumbarton Hotel, with Evan Williams as guest of honour. The next one was at the end of the 1973–74 season with Steve Murray as guest in Ardencaple Hotel in Helensburgh. Lomond CSC joined the Affiliation in 1986, when it was formed, attending the inaugural meeting.

This helped with a fairer distribution of tickets to supporting clubs. Lomond ran buses to many away games at home and abroad, but due to bus costs and limited ticket availability, they have also shared buses over the years with a number of other CSCs, including Dumbarton Harp, Renton, and Paisley Davie Hay. Through the years, due to the geographical spread of the membership, they have had no permanent base.

During the 1970’s, a lot of CSCs started getting involved in sports quizzes, including The Celtic View quiz, run by Jack McGinn. After a few years of relative success, they entered a team into the Daily Record national team quiz around 1975–76, represented by Jim McGlynn, John McGlynn, Pat Connor, and Jimmy O’Brien.

The team progressed well, reaching the semi-final, only to be controversially informed that they hadn’t qualified and, as a result, had to play an extra qualifying game. Pitched against a Livingston team with a big reputation in national quizzing circles, they were narrowly beaten in the additional round, only to later discover the possible motivation for the extra round of qualification was to try to avoid a bus load of Celtic fans attending the final in Edminston House at Ibrox.

Doz’ was one of the biggest and most popular characters the bus has known. A well-knownface across the Celtic Support as he travelled home and away, his exploits were stuff of legend. Another one you could write a book about. A lifetime member, Doz sadly passed in 2019.

Over the years, their quiz participation faded until the association started to run regional quiz heats across the UK and Ireland, with the Lomond CSC team (Jim McGlynn, John Gow, Pat Connor, and Jimmy O’Brien) qualifying through a regional heat in the Denny Club in Dumbarton for the finals night to be held at Celtic Park. The finals night was well attended, with Billy McNeill, Tommy Gemmell, Bobby Murdoch, and Dixie Deans amongst some of the attendees. On the night, the Lomond CSC managed to narrowly win the final. The prize was a flight and hotel in Antwerp with the club’s travelling party to play Germinal Ekeren in the UEFA Cup.

Lomond CSC has always been a charitable club. Since the 1970s, they have donated to many organisations. A former member, Pat Branny, was at the forefront of charitable efforts, with many donations over the years to the Carmelite Nuns, St Margaret’s Hospice, MND Scotland, and many others. They continue to regularly donate to the Carmelite Nuns, West Dunbartonshire Foodbanks, and local school causes.

Famous visitors include David Goldblatt, a British sports writer, broadcaster, sociologist, journalist, and author. He joined them on the bus, researching a book on world football, interviewing Jim McGlynn and Pat Connor, discussing their experiences from Lisbon 1967; Donald Cowey, Sports Editor at the Herald; Tam O’Neill, Celtic historian, involved with the Celtic Graves Society; and Paddy Armstrong, sometime after his pardon for his part in the Guildford 4.

Through the past 50 years, the bus has had hundreds of members, with some lasting a lifetime, some carrying through family generations, with many forging lifelong friendships and creating a thousand great memories. A few members, past and present, do deserve a special mention for their contribution to the bus over the years. John Gow, 1974–present, has played almost every role on the bus over the years.

Pat Connor, from 1970 to 2008, was a legendary treasurer who made a massive contribution, managing their finances diligently over the years. Retiring from the bus in 2008, when he moved away from Dumbarton, Pat still sits with the Bhoys from the Lomond at Celtic Park. Jim McGlynn, who joined in 1970 and has been chairman since 1971, Chairman Reg Blanning 1970–1971, Secretary Mick Murray 1970–1972, Treasurer Pat Connor 1970–2008, Bus Steward Jim Baird 1970–1973, and Bus Steward Jim Duffy 1970–1971. Members Jim McGlynn, Willie Tomlin, Pat Sweeney, Ben Casey, John Brown, Alfie Bridges, John McGlynn, Jim O’Brien, Jim Liddell, Jim O’Neill, Bernie O’Neill, D McLaughlin, J Rainey, Jocky O’Neill, P Higgens, J McIntyre, D McGolgan, Joe Biolik, R G Blanning, George Elliot, and Danny Heggarty.

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 editor@thecelticstar.co.uk

1 Comment

  1. Thanks for that item, I was one of those in Antartex at the time and remember conversations on how to go about starting a supporters club. Happy days. Will get the book.