Left wondering what has happened to the Celtic support

I know younger supporters must groan when they see anything starting “I have been a Celtic supporter for x years” but – sorry – in my case it has been almost 55 years.

I am therefore left wondering what has happened to the Celtic support and what being a Celtic supporter involves. The simple answer is to be faithful through and through, turn up to see and encourage the team and manager, stay to the end and contribute to a noisy and exciting atmosphere.

But it seems in recent times that elements of our support seem to think we are different and have some higher calling?

Yesterday was a graphic case in point. Starting with the almost annual embarrassment at the ignorant and selfish treatment of a minute (or “moment”) of silence on Remembrance Day.

I understand all the background about how some Celtic supporters – especially the Irish ones – feel about the British army and the whole remembrance industry – which I admit becomes more sentimental and overblown each year – but even so surely a minute of silence is not too much to ask?

Firstly it is simply just bad manners and, secondly, many people in the ground will have had family members from previous generations lost in the conflicts being remembered – I have. In addition, it is another media stick for us to be beaten with and is a very ugly look.

There was actually a lot of booing from home supporters angry at the treatment of the silence by the minority – but that won’t be the story today.

Secondly the quiet around the place when we are winning so well and convincingly – it seems the the rest of the crowd has got so used to having the standing section providing all the cheerleading that we have forgotten how to?

There is also the 80 minute crowd leaving – what is that about – we had only just gone 3 up and with all the stoppages that meant that these people missed 20 minutes of they game – and 3 goals!

More baffling still was all those young kids running onto the pitch – at various times – what is that about suddenly? Lucky it wasn’t a ECL game or more fines incoming.

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Mr Sandman on The Celtic Star last night was nostalgic for his Jungle days and rightly so. But I don’t remember the Jungle issuing press statements and taking positions on world events. No UEFA fines either – other than the occasional alleged bottle throwing maybe!

Going to watch Celtic play is a treat and a blessing – especially when they play and win the way they did yesterday. Celtic supporters are generally regarded for their compassion, sense of justice but mostly enthusiasm, a sense of humour and civilised good natured behaviour – in stark contrast to those of our biggest rivals – and fans of some other nasty clubs too.

Let’s just fill the place, enjoy (or otherwise) the football and the company of those around us.

Don’t be sitting quietly, leaving early or boycotting/getting banned over political issues. Don’t allow the rest of the world to criticise all Celtic supporters for supporting particular political or other issues when it may often just be the views of a vocal minority.

Most of all – when a minute of respectful silence is called for – one that is respected in every stadium in the country but ours – let’s all be grown up and just be quiet for 60 seconds – or stay outside, as indeed many supporters choose to do yesterday.

Martin Leadbetter

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 editor@thecelticstar.co.uk


  1. I wouldn’t have booed but as an irishman that’s been on the receiving end of British state forces I can understand why. Why do we have to do it? Don’t force it. Pitch invasions are strange and mostly new, perhaps this is a rebellion against the boards banning the GB over Palestine. Celtic started because of politics and our fans mostly have been a political fan base and should continue to be so especially when we are being ran by those who don’t hold the values for which we were formed.

    • Well said John
      There’s more to it than just good manners and staying silent.
      I stayed outside during it don’t want any part of it but you can’t/shouldn’t ask supporters or players for that matter to stand in silence for recent “wars” that has involved their country and the British government/army.
      In a free world we shouldn’t have to be forced to do such an act. Don’t give in to the Poppy Facist

  2. The pitch invaders has become an embarrassment. More of an embarrassment is the amount of security staff that ee have and it still occurs.
    Celtic should be having a word with whoever is providing security as it isn’t good enough.
    As for the poppy protest; well what can you say………there are some people that hate the British army, there are some people that hate the annual Poppyfest, and there are some people that just hate for hates sake.

    • Martin, calm down before you choke on your prawn sandwich.
      The editor has made some valid points but as far as ‘having manners’ towards the minute’s silence is concerned, I think both he & you have no real comprehension of the atrocities committed by the British Army in Ireland – both historically & in the recent past which have been systematically covered up by the British Govt. If it was simply a matter of the poppy & minute’s silence representing the dead in two world wars then fair enough but that is not the case.
      It is a matter of choice whether one wishes to comply with wearing a poppy & the minute’s silence but to try to enforce them on Irish supporters who view the symbolism as political anethemas, is an insult to them, of the highest order.
      The argument of keeping politics out of sport is often used when a political protest or stance is not to the complainants liking.
      I would suggest that If football clubs are serious about being only about sport then all symbolism should be dispensed with – including the minute’s silence.

  3. Donald Kirkwood on

    Well said. However the leaving early has been going on for over 20 years, and it still baffles me.

  4. Martin Blackshaw on

    Please stop insulting the hallowed memory of Celtic’s founder, Brotehr Walfrid, with this myth that Celtic was formed for political reasons. There was absolutely nothing remotely political about the founding of Celtic Football Club, it was purely a work of Christian charity (supernatural charity) as well as a means to help form youngsters in a healthy environment. This garbage that it was formed for political reasons or to provide a political platform is a perviersion of history and truth.

    As regards the disrespect shown by a minority during the minute of silence, it’s clear that this is simply an element made up of individuals with the IQ of the average house plant and absolutely no manners. If our war heroes had not put their very lives on the line to stop Hitler then it’s worth contemplating that a vast section of the Celtic support today may well have been lined up against a wall and shot by the victorious Nazis, who detested Socialism and Socialists. The Green (Red) Brigade, for example, wouldn’t simply receive a ban, they would receive a bullet. Is it too much to ask that we extend one minute of gratitude and respect for those who sacrificed everything (many Celtic people included) to prevent a Nazi victory?

    I note from the pictures of the yobs who invaded the park that not one of them is wearing Celtic colours of any kind. Who were they? Are they Celtic fans? The police need to find this out and they need to be banned for life from Celtic if it’s found that they are indeed Celtic fans.

    Now, the main point here for the author of the article is to emphasise again, as I have many times here and elsewhere, that these political activists who call themselves the “Green Brigade”, not to mention that other lot who support their anarchy, are infiltrators into the Celtic fanbase. Almost every club is afflicted by these political agitators who pretend deep loyality and affiliation to the clubs they infiltrate while using the sport as a platform for Marxist anarchy. Anyone who knows the history and tactics of Marxists will have recognised some time ago that football is deeply infiltrated by their foot soldiers, or “useful idiots”, as Stalin called them. That’s why the Celtic Board must be ruthless and cut them off completely. We need to rid sport of this troublesome and divisive element very quickly.

    • Wind your neck in Martin bhoy that’s the whole point of NOT wanting to wear a poppy in the world wars they fought for a free world and free speech and NOBODY has a problem with the poppy for respecting the dead of the world wars and I most certainly wouldn’t bother wearing it for those reasons.
      These days it is now shoved in your face and told you should wear it for EVERY conflict.
      You bang on about manners what do you want us to do sit up the back of the bus and do and say nothing if that is you then you are a coward.
      Maybe for starters you should read up in the troubles in Ireland and what they done and how the British acted towards our own.
      Maybe your iq isn’t as good as you would like to think it is Martin but since we live in a free world and free speech we have every right to express our opinion.
      To just say it’s manners that we respect the Poppy and now what it stands is the worst argument I have ever heard put forward.

  5. This is 2023 not the 1500s, time to grow up and have respect.
    Few of you actually know why there is such sectarian bigotry.
    I have mixed family and this childish hatred needs left back in medieval times.
    I will always respect the service men who died trying to save all the land from an Evil far worse than any of the ignorants can imagine, I will respect their families.
    I respect current service men who are prepared to put their lives on the line for this country.
    However I won’t respect terrorism or any faction / person who takes a life.
    So a clear message to all is drop the past hatred.
    Live & let Live.

  6. Celtic weren’t formed just to play football. They were formed to feed the poor. Is that not political? The state wasn’t feeding them, in fact they were being discriminated against by the state. How is that not political? Poppy day has become about more than the 1st world war, its about modern day invaders of Ireland, Afghanistan, Iraq etc. A big difference asking people to respect that.

    • Marring I would hazard a guess that you haven’t been on the receiving end of those we are asked to respect? I have had a friend murdered in cold blood by them and I also saw a person shot dead right in front of me by one of those you want respect for who was standing about 12 feet away from him. Forgive the many who won’t look past that.

      • Eugene McElhinney on

        If people hadn’t given their lives in the 2nd World War when Ireland was neutral, then the hard-fought-for Republic of Ireland would have been run by Nazis and the Troubles would have been more than just a capital ‘ T ‘.

  7. I agree with your comments on the present fan base but I also worry about what the recent activities have on the club’s sponsors. Do they want to be associated with all this!

  8. …….I come on here as another one of the 55 yrs old brigade following the Celts so bear with me ‘young guns’! I make no apology for being an Irish Celt and I will never stand for a minutes silence in respect of anything regarding British Army or royalty! It has no place in a football stadium so if you say respect it then respect must be shown for those who fly the Irish & Palestinian flags and object to supporting the British Army who murdered 14 people in Derry! If the 11th Nov was just about WW1 we could all emphasise but it includes Derry, Iraq, even Palestine and that’s the problem? As for what he lack of atmosphere unfortunately it’s part of modern football? All seated leads to lack of noise & passion, ask anybody who goes to Old Trafford, Anfield et al and they’ll tell you the same. Also ordinary league games v Ross County etc are hardly likely to encourage raucous passion and no comparison to European nights under lights? Definitely there’s too many Johnny come lately’s; arrive a minute to kick off, head for something to eat 10 mins before half time and don’t come back until 10 mins into 2nd half and leave 10 mins before the end, they are a pain in the arse? That’s not support that’s modern life, a day out, ffs they could be at the rugby or theatre? My final little rant, the CL? 6-0 v the sheep shaggers means nothing to me if we lose 6-0 v Atletico? I think many fans are happy just winning the SPL but it’s Europe I want to see us do better, DD & co need to get their thinking caps on before next season’s CL campaign with 10 games guaranteed, a virtual mini season in Europe, are we up for it??🤔⚽️☘️🇮🇪🇵🇸

  9. Far too much cheap cocaine on the streets of Scotland is part of the problem.

    Make pitch invasions (like the 3 halfwitted invaders yesterday) a mandatory 1 week in jail / borstal offence = problem solved.

    The GB was not banned just because of Palestine flags (which corrupt Uefa banned, not Celtic) but for a whole catalogue of offences, all carefully listed by Celtic in an email to season ticket holders. The GB group is an insignificant part of the overall season ticket holder base so Feck em and lets move on. Bonus is if they take the Bhoys and their dreadful songbook with them. Don’t hurry back lads.

    Great result and performance yesterday which is what we should be taking about. I dont go to Celtic Park for Politics of any kind.

  10. Personally would never respect poppy porn, as nothing but a symbol of butchering that has occurred upon the island of Ireland, as far as I’m concerned.
    However, that’s my own personal view, and have to respect the views of fellow Tim’s who view such a symbol in a totally different manner?
    So even as I wouldn’t acknowledge the silence shown, I wouldn’t disrespect it either, even though I would find the symbol so offensive within my own homeland.
    So don’t actually understand why boo the minutes silence, when a silent protest with not being in attendance is good enough imo, even if not clapping the team onto the pitch for the single time within a season?
    It’s a very sad occurred theme at present, with so many splits starting to occur within the Celtic support, especially when we are so renowned for our unity upon the worldwide stage?
    Could this be down to a new breed of so called Celtic supporter?
    Beginning to think so, for which I currently put the blame for doing so firmly at the door of this so called GB acting or trying to do so, in the name of Celtic football club?
    Maybe getting to old upon my views upon current society, but never bought into and never will either, that Celtic is or should be viewed as any form of political organisation.
    The 2 have to be kept separate imo, especially when I personally don’t see how or why they can be viewed as being connected?
    Even as a republican, I have had to learn where and when it’s appropriate to do so, yet have had to leave them views at the doors of Celtic Park, where the value of the enjoyment the Celtic team takes preference.
    Hypocritical view, I know, when the gloves are allowed to come off against all what that shower of scum stand for and promote also?
    So maybe the time is now for getting the right balance involved, especially where I strongly believe that the support of the team has to start taking preference, especially in footballing matters, and even more so upon issues that we as a support have no control over?
    Does that mean a return to the good old days where the team itself starts to take preference over unwanted outside issues within the stadiums, then I for one would certainly be in preference of showing that support towards the team.
    If that calls upon the older generation to start do,then allowing a younger generation to do so in the manner they seem to be trying to impact upon ourselves, then so be it imo.
    Sure haven’t we been around longer and stood up for far more than these young pups are trying to claim, especially with the level of damage they are trying to prepare to do to our great name?

  11. I’m from an Irish family background and three of my great uncles enlisted in Dublin in 1914. They signed up having been promised that they would earn Home Rule for Ireland, a cynical lie, as it turned out. One of them was killed at Gallipoli not long after he signed up. The second died in Belgium, aged 18, already made an officer from the ranks because the ‘Officer Class’ had been almost wiped out leading men over the top of the trenches. The third signed up at 15, wasn’t sent home, served the entire war as a stretcher bearer in the medical corps on the front. He was gassed, bombed, shelled, had typhus and TB and came back to Dublin at 19 a shadow of his former self, just as the 1921 Rising was being prepared. In WW2, one uncle was a navigator in the bombers, another was hauled off the beach at Dunkirk, my father in law was in North Africa and Singapore. All Catholics, all Irish origin, all socialists, dead against fascism. Many of my pal’s dads came back broken men from prisoner of war camps in Burma and Japan. None of them were British Legion. They didn’t share those values, but they respected the memories of their friends. They didn’t go to the Remembrance Parade and boo. They stayed away with their own thoughts. We live in Scotland. We pay tax here if we work. If not, we can claim benefits. We can get an education and access the NHS. No matter what I think of the British Forces and their many atrocities, I also have to recognise that my way of life and my freedom are owed to those who fought in WW1 and WW2, including huge numbers of Irishmen. A minute’s silence to appreciate those who died is not too much to ask. Celtic Park belongs to Celtic Football Club and we pay to enter it and watch football, while observing the house rules. If you misbehave in a pub or a restaurant or someone else’s house, the owner can legitimately ask you to leave. You don’t have the right to subject other people to your beliefs and obsessions and your chants. Since the Goid Friday Agreement, the vast majority of people in the North of Ireland have tried to put the past in the past and respect one another, in the hope that the future will be better for their families. Some insecure individuals and groups still want to identify with the past because they can’t find it within themselves to move on. Ask the victims of the Omagh or Warrington bombs families how they’re doing, or the relatives of the 32 victims of the Troubles whose bodies have never been revaled by the terror groups who kidnapped and killed them. Yes, there is blood on a lot of hands and that is what the Armistice is all about-a recognition that we have ALL failed to learn from the lessons of the past and have repeated history, tragically. We can enjoy Celtic’s Irish heritage and a good sing song without resorting to the IRA dirges. I watched from The Jungle and the patter was great and there was a bit of cheeky comment, but it didn’t subject the rest of the spectators to a constant surfeir of sectarian bile. If you want to be seen as standing for what’s right, you have to be seen to be above reproach yourself. A tiny group of supporters has disobeyed the rules of the house repeatedly and has got their come-uppance. Stay away or stay outside during the minute’s silences or other tributes you don’t agree with. Make your point about poverty, corruption, war and famine without displaying terrorist flags and self indulgent banners about UEFA. Don’t put other supporters in danger with missiles, fireworks or flares. Get safe flares, it’s not difficult. Virtue signal all you like, but do it within the rules. Hopefully Celtic will fill in the north curve with the thousands on the waiting list who’d only be too pleased to be in watching and singing as well. At my age, I’m not prepared to be bullied by other supporters into following their every move, and there’s a lot more like me. We’re all well informed about the world and its injustices nowadays. Get behind the Club we love and you say you love. You don’t hurt the ones you love. When in Rome……

  12. I highlighted the change a few seasons back when the personal abuse and hatred that was shown to Neil Lennon which i said wasn’t a Celtic thing and we can be angry upset about losing things or individual directors but its really gotten ugly they way the younger element have become so confrontational with everything that they disagree with or people who don’t see share their point of view

  13. Well thats how game was on live Cektic live at home only happens in glasgow derby and running on the pitch an over zelous steward pushed the guy over the wall lucky nit to gey a serious injury some these stewards even in europe go over the top that guy should be charged think he was getting over to his friends and the steward fools im syre he feel it this morning

  14. One things for sure, we have a lot of reactionary supporters it seems, who it has to be said are more in tune with the people running the club, not to mention those running the country, WHO KNEW!.
    I for the life of me cannot understand why we would want to glorify, remember ,call it what you will, people who have murdered millions all over the world, from 35 million in India to the 3 million civilians killed in an illegal war in Iraq, a million murdered in Indonesia in the 60s in the name of business, to name but a few.
    When it was just the two world wars it was at least made more palatable by excuses we could comfort our selves with, like feeling sorry all the young men duped in WW1 and sent to their deaths, or that in WW2 we were fighting some great evil, in the shape of Hitler.
    These excuses maybe couldn’t actually stand up to too much scrutiny, but then no one scrutinised them. No such excuses can be made for all the other mass murders, and why we’d commemorate the murder of 3million civilians dead in Iraq, for money no less, is obscene.
    Yes, people could stand outside until this passes, but i would maybe be feeling i was condoning this fraud, by staying silent, others might also.