Football Without Fans – Norway CSC

Norway CSC…

In most countries, Irish and Scottish immigrants make up the core of the CSCs. In Norway, the Celtic support developed slightly differently. Irish or Scottish immigrants are few and far between over there.

While there is a significant diaspora contribution, the Celtic support in Norway is largely homegrown. There is a long-established Norwegian student connection to Scotland, and over the years quite a few Norwegians have fallen in love with Celtic while studying in Scotland.

The first CSC was started in 1991, when Jan Leth, a Dane from Copenhagen, founded the Scandinavian Supporters of Celtic FC. The following year, the baton was passed on to Bent Uvaag Johansen in Norway, who at the time had just finished studying in Scotland and had returned full of fire for the Celts.

A newly started fanzine was quite fittingly named ‘News From Paradise’ (NFP), the same fanzine they have today. Since most of the members were Norway-based, the Scandinavian title was dropped in 1995, and the CSC became ‘Celtic FC Supporters Club Norway.’

The first president of the new CSC was Harald Harsson. Almost thirty years later, both Bent and Harald are still the mainstays of the CSC committee. The fanzine is also still an integral part of the CSC and is mostly in Norwegian, with some guest articles in English. CSC Norway is a national organisation, but a lot of members are Oslo-based and get together regularly for the matches. The same would be true of larger towns like Stavanger, Bergen, Trondheim, and Troms.

Scottish football has unfortunately never been high on the sports agenda in Norway. Television coverage reflects that, even when Vidar Riseth and Harald Brattbakk joined Celtic, it didn’t lead to a great deal of improvement in game coverage.

The first Norwegian Celtic manager Ronny Deila should have been a golden one for Celtic fans in Norway, but it left some supporters with very mixed feelings. Not so much to do with Ronny’s managerial performance (for which we feel he deserves a lot more credit,) but for the way the media began covering Celtic.

Ronny Deila Celtic manager lifts the double at the Scottish Premiership Match between Celtic and Inverness Caley Thistle at Celtic Park on 24 May, 2015.. (Photo by Jeff Holmes/Getty Images)

Celtic is more than the manager and more than the results on the pitch. They have their own charity fund, ranging from the Celtic Foundation to The John Hartson Foundation, the Kano Foundation, Downs & Proud, Match the Fine for Palestine, and the Lisbon Lions Fund.

There is also a strong feeling of solidarity in this country with the Palestinian people, so the sight of Palestinian flags at Celtic Park has only added to the club’s reputation.

Norway CSC contributed to this campaign, which in turn led to them getting involved in helping to bring three teams of 12-year-old boys and girls from the refugee camps in Palestine to take part in the Norway Cup, which is the world’s largest football tournament for children.

Over the years, participants from 126 nations have taken part. Their membership has been constant at 200-300 members over the last number of years. Their CSC believes in the Celtic community, and while everyone is welcome, potential new members also need to be aware that they are cheering for more than a football team. In the words of the late Tommy Burns, “When you pull on that jersey, you’re not just playing for a football club; you’re playing for a people and a cause.”

David McIntyre –

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.


About Author

The Celtic Star founder and editor David Faulds 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

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