Football Without Fans – Ramsgate Emerald CSC

Ramsgate Emerald CSC…

Founded on 4th December, 2007, in Feeney’s Irish Bar. It regularly showed the Celtic games and was always filled with the same faces. At a brief get-together at the beginning of the 2007 season, they mentioned forming their own CSC.

After a few more lengthy discussions in the following months about what that would entail, they met up to watch a game against AC Milan in early December. They sat down after the match to confirm and agree on their CSC name. Phil Coll was appointed treasurer, and Jim McGarry was voted in as secretary.

Early in 2008, they moved the club to its new home, a bar called Macie’s. The pub had just been taken over in January, with the new owner keen to rename the pub as they wanted to try a few new things. They agreed to name it after their CSC, and Macie’s became Emerald Bar.

Great days were had in the Emerald, with some terrific functions, the occasional party, victory celebrations, and, of course, the occasional dodgy one. All the Bhoys ‘kilted up’ for every Rangers game and cup final to bring a bit of colour to the events and days.

They began with ten members in December 2007 and had 22 members at the end of their first season in May 2008. They travelled to their first Celtic game as a CSC against Fulham in the 2008/09 pre-season. It became the first of many journeys to London to watch the Bhoys, including the Wembley tournament, European qualification nights, and weekenders spent with fellow CSCs.

Their location isn’t the easiest place to arrange travel from, but they set a target for the club to get to Celtic Park once a season. That would allow their members time to save for the journey and, of course, the beer. They offered a club savings scheme and made some great contacts who could source tickets for them when they arranged and agreed on which game to attend. Their first trip to Paradise came early in 2009, when they flew up to the Dundee United match.

As with too many Celtic games, the drinking started very early, with some only making the game at half-time, but every visit, no matter what state they arrived in, it was always a banging day out. It wasn’t all easy going in the beginning. Within the next six months, the club split, with almost half of its members deciding to leave, including their then treasurer. With the support of those who remained, it was decided to continue the club, with Scotty Brown taking over the treasurer’s post in 2011. They struggled on for a year or so before they found their feet again, increasing membership and moving the CSC.

They left Emerald Bar early in 2010, moving to The Flying Horse in 2011. They mixed with a local Chelsea supporters club, with Chelsea playing live after them on many Sunday afternoons. There were a few confrontations, but thankfully the guy who organised their club was approachable and level-headed. Their club left the bar at the end of that season. On Cup Final Day that May, they had issues with the new owner over TV scheduling and prioritising Celtic games, so they decided to move on.

After negotiations with the landlord at The Australian Arms, they settled into their new surroundings in 2012. The Ozzie was a great bar with lovely staff who were always accommodating and very friendly. For many, it was a bit out of the way, so they spoke with their current landlady, Paula, to see if she would be open to the idea of hosting their CSC. Having Irish heritage and a vague understanding of Celtic and what it meant to them, she agreed to their move to Elephant and Castle (The Ellie.)

In February 2013, they lost one of their original members, Neil McCusker, who passed away at just 49. They all felt his loss and wanted to commemorate and celebrate his life as a friend who attended the games and sang with them and who had loved the Celts his whole short life.

With this thought and the sad passing of other members over the following years, they came up with the idea of creating a remembrance plaque dedicated to each passed member. When they moved to the Ellie, they created their ‘Last Post.’ A plaque was erected for each fallen member so they could still join them for the games. It acts as a lasting legacy to celebrate their individual characters, their love of Celtic music, and their service as serving members of Ramsgate Emerald CSC.

They also held charity golf days for a few years until COVID put a stop to that. Their annual summer party, for which they are always so grateful for the support of other CSCs and friends, was set up purely with the intent of raising funds for their charity of choice. From 2014 until 2019, Steve Cully served as treasurer until the mantle was passed to their current treasurer, Moreno Sanguigni. Steve became club secretary that year as Jim McGarry became their first serving club president, having been involved as a committee member from the very first meeting of their CSC in 2007.

In 2022, many of their committee members were involved with other CSC representatives in organising and delivering The Brother Walfrid at Grove Ferry Event. It was extremely well-attended and supported by fellow Celts, and they were all very grateful and proud to be associated with the evening. They hope that with all the new connections and friendships they have made through this type of event and others such as the Jimmy Johnstone Tournament and the Lisbon Lions in London celebration in 2017, more and more CSCs will become involved in more partnerships, working together to grow and expand the Celtic name and ethos in the years to come.

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, 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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