Football Without Fans – Luton Celtic Supporters Club

Football Without Fans is one of the biggest talking points on social media this week, as Celtic Supporters Clubs across the world proudly show their own contributions to this brilliant Celtic book that tells the story of over 400 CSCs from around the world.

The Celtic Star, with our book publishing experience, has been assisting David McIntyre from Celticbars.com every step of the way, as the late David Potter said to Davy, ‘you can never have enough Celtic books’ and this one is marvellous.

We’ll feature a selection of CSC stories on The Celtic Star to give readers a flavour of this remarkable book which has been years in the making. We’ll start with the story of the Luton CSC…

Luton CSC was founded in 1965 after the Scottish Cup Final. They approached the Cock Public House in Park Street, Luton, for the hire of their spare room on a Sunday night in February 1966, and it was here at the inaugural meeting that the Glasgow Celtic Supporters Club Luton Branch was founded.

Just 12 supporters were in attendance and a 2/6 subscription was paid to start the fund-raising rolling. The 12 in attendance were: A. Doris (President), D. Fallon (Secretary), R. McDonald (Treasurer), D. Tobin (Social Conv), J. McGonigle, J. Kilday, E. Kilday, B. Morris, P. Avent, J. Holton, J. Wafer, and M. McManus. The next meeting was called for the following Sunday, with instructions to all members to spread the word that the club had been formed within a short space of time.

The club became a thriving social scene. Their members still turned up in force after leaving ‘The Cock,’ and settled for a while in the Eight Bells and then through various pubs throughout the area, some of which were George II, Panama, Somerset Tavern, Regent, Forrester’s, and The Gryphon.

Eventually, after many disputes with the council, they got their very own premises in Chobham Street, Luton, where they are still to this day. Probably the greatest single item contributing to raising enough cash for their own premises was the tote, which was innovated by Willie Carr and an army of good sellers.

In October 1977, they opened the club house, which cost £140,000. Jock Stein was due to open the club, but due to an air traffic control strike, he couldn’t make it down. He did though, send down a recorded message, which was played before the official opening, which was done by Stevie Chalmers, Joe McBride and the vice president of the Association, Jim Devine.

Before EasyJet, 2-3 coaches went to every home game. Martín Shadlow was steward from the late 80s to mid-90s and said by the late 80s due to timings, groups of Bhoys rented a car for the weekend and set out at 6 Saturday morning, getting to Glasgow around 1pm for a couple of pints in The London Road Club then back to Luton for 1am. He said the introduction of speed cameras on the M1 and M6 added 90 minutes to the journey, so they started using the train then, in time, EasyJet and Ryanair. In 1989, they had a membership of 1200 members, which was the biggest CSC in the world.

FOOTBALL WITHOUT FANS – THE HISTORY OF CELTIC SUPPORTERS CLUBSRESEARCHED & COMPILED BY DAVID McINTYRE from Celticbars.com…

From Paisley to Papua New Guinea, The Gorbals to The Bronx, Celtic Supporters Clubs are renowned the world over. The only difference between the brake club pioneers of the late 1880s and the present-day CSCs is the mode of transport. The passion, dedication, hopes and dreams of the fans has never changed. The pride of belonging to a cause they believe in has made them the lifeblood of Celtic FC.

Delve into what our forefathers got up to, from the horse and carts, motorised charabancs, war years, the highs of Lisbon to the histories of over 400 CSCs. Every supporters club has a story to tell. This book brings them to life with some remarkable tales of heroism, prejudice, inventiveness, charity, mayhem and humour.

This book is by the fans, about the fans, for the fans and is out now.

All three Celtic Books published in 2023…

David McIntyre’s book 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.

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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

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