Ryan Christie Celebrates Glasgow Derby Win With Bournemouth Celtic Supporters Club

The ball had barely left Reo Hatate’s boot in the fifth minute, when an ear splitting roar reverberated off the walls as dozens embraced in an ebullience of green and white delight. But this raucous scene was not at Celtic Park; it was 367 miles south of Paradise in the seaside town of Bournemouth.

The local Celtic Supporters Club (Bournemouth Shamrock CSC) had gathered, as they always do, at The Westbourne pub on Poole Road. Before the game, conversations about match predictions and team selections were momentarily interrupted as the regional newspaper took photographs of fans beside one of the many flags that bedecked the room.

Such an image was taken for the Bournemouth Daily Echo because this was a night of celebration, in more ways than one as the evening would eventually prove. Indeed, the Bournemouth Shamrock CSC have followed in Brother Walfrid and his fellow founding fathers’ charitable footsteps by raising sufficient funds to purchase a defibrillator for the community in the coastal village of Westbourne.

The club regularly raises money throughout each season, primarily by selling Scotch pies at the half time interval of every Celtic match. These are served by The Westbourne’s accommodating staff and sourced by the CSC’s organiser James Tierney. It was the latter who decided upon using the garnered funds to purchase a defibrillator, when he and friends were watching Denmark v Finland in June 2021 at the pub. During that game, the football world stood still for 20 minutes as Christian Eriksen received CPR after suffering a cardiac arrest on the pitch. Fortunately, the player survived and, along with a surge in global Google searches about how to perform the life saving medical procedure, enquiries were made about the number of defibrillators available in the Westbourne Parish. To their dismay, there wasn’t one.

In rectifying matters, with a charitable proclivity that has permeated Celtic and its support for over 130 years, the 10,000 plus population and visitors to the area will now be given a lifeline by this essential piece of equipment.

The Westbourne Pub. The defibrillator will be positioned on the outside wall of the pub and will be available for emergency services, residents and visitors to use in the community

With photos taken and Scotch pies positioned in the kitchen, thoughts returned to the Glasgow Derby. The sound of ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ echoed through the speakers as well over 100 Celtic fans strapped themselves in for what was a must win fixture.

Moments after kick off, former Celtic Quadruple Treble and nine-in-a-row winning midfielder Ryan Christie walked in. He and some of his Bournemouth teammates scarcely had time to find a table before Reo Hatate put the Hoops ahead. Glen Daly’s immortal Celtic Song rang out, and other popular chants swept through the building. “Watching Glasgow Celtic putting on a show,” was one of the battlecries, and it was fast becoming a factual statement as Ange Postecoglou’s men turned the screw.

Pint glasses spilled their contents after succumbing to the massed mayhem that followed Hatate’s second goal of the evening, a delightful curling shot which left McGregor reeling in the Rangers net. Before bedlam erupted when Liel Abada took advantage of Barisic deciding to take a seat on the Paradise turf.

Half time provided a chance to catch the breath after a scintillating 45 minutes of Ange-ball. At this juncture, many supporters took the opportunity to get a picture with Ryan Christie, who chatted to fans about his time at Celtic and was well-received – much to the amusement of his AFC Bournemouth colleagues in attendance. They must have wondered what this level of passion was all about on the South Coast, in a different country from where the game was taking place. Although, Ben Pearson had donned a Celtic shirt for the occasion.

Former Manchester United, Preston North End and current Bournemouth midfielder Ben Pearson donned a Celtic shirt as he joined Christie and other teammates for the match

The second half was a little more relaxed. Celtic were in cruise control. This calm after the storm was reflected in the venue, until the latter stages. Then, the excitement of imminently going top of the league produced an outburst of song – a huddle outside – and smoke bombs on the otherwise empty pavement at full time.

The hospitable management of The Westbourne pub allowed punters to control the jukebox after the game, so CSC members were bequeathed with Irish ballads and Celtic anthems, belting them out for some time and only adjourning for a swig of each beverage.

It was a cracking night of charity, culture, and derby skelping with a brilliant atmosphere, and a visit from former Celtic players.

If you ever find yourself on the south coast, call in to The Westbourne Pub with the Bournemouth Shamrock CSC.

About Author

Hailing from an Irish background, I grew up on the English south coast with the good fortune to begin watching Celtic during the Martin O'Neill era. I have written four Celtic books since the age of 19: Our Stories & Our Songs: The Celtic Support, Take Me To Your Paradise: A History Of Celtic-Related Incidents & Events, Walfrid & The Bould Bhoys: Celtic's Founding Fathers, First Season & Early Stars, and The Holy Grounds of Glasgow Celtic: A Guide To Celtic Landmarks & Sites Of Interest. These were previously sold in Waterstones and official Celtic FC stores, and are now available on Amazon.

1 Comment

  1. Michael McCartney on

    Ged you’re talking out you’re backside, through the years plenty of players have left Celtic for what they think is the land of milk and honey down south. Even before the English top division became the financially bloated league it is now, we lost Crerand, Dalglish, Hay, Macari and Nicholas to mention a few. Ryan Christie scored some important goals for Celtic in his time at the club and deserves respect. Like some other players who have left the club I think a lot of them would have had better careers by staying at Celtic Park and he is one that I would put into that bracket.
    I’m not bitter against these players. As far as losing the league and ten in a row last season goes I think the only two people to blame were PL and NL they both became far too complacent in their jobs and let the supporters and the players down.