Unlike the Green Brigade, not every Celtic fan has a PHD in Irish History

The official SPFL highlights start with the Remembrance Minute’s Silence being disrupted and yet again at this time of year – on Celtic’s birthday weekend – our club gets a kicking because some can’t find it in themselves to protest in another way.

Celtic have met them more than half way, by refusing to place a poppy on the Celtic shirts as had happened previously. Every year we go through this but why given them a reason to attack Celtic? Just observe the silence and move on – even sing whichever the song you want to as a counter-reaction to the silence as soon as it’s done.

Someone said on here that no blog or supporter has any right whatsoever to criticise those making the protest in breaching the silence, even though these supporters are as embarrassed as the club clearly is by the ‘look at me’ protestors.

7th November 2021; Dens Park, Dundee, Scotland: Scottish Premiership football, Dundee FC versus Celtic; Close up of one of the tennis balls used to disrupt the match, featuring the face of Bernard Higgins who has been linked to a Celtic role

A few years ago those wishing to protest waited outside the ground while the silence was happening. Fair enough. Last week the Green Brigade and The Bhoys remained silent for 30 minutes in protest against the rumoured Higgins appointment (still neither confirmed or denied by Celtic). Again fair enough, they have every right to stay silent if they wish, yet when the rest of the support wanted just one minute’s silence yesterday they could not oblige.

Many understand that the tennis balls protest was valid – although the breach of the minute’s silence took the focus away from that one on what was a busy afternoon for the protestors.

Fewer Celtic Fans than every before wear a poppy. In the North of Ireland it became a sectarian symbol and sadly that has transferred to Scottish football where at some grounds they have big cannons firing blanks in some sort of military orgy of triumphalism, it’s as bizarre as it is freakish.

7th November 2021; Dens Park, Dundee, Scotland: Scottish Premiership football, Dundee FC versus Celtic;

Many Celtic families lost relations fighting in the World Wars, the Second World War being closer to fathers and grandfathers of folk at Dens Park yesterday wearing a Celtic scarf. While we all know that you need a PHD in Irish history to gain membership of the Celtic Ultra groups – imagine them on Mastermind, they’d be a certainty on their chosen specialist subject – they have around 90 minutes over 50 times a season to turn their comprehensive knowledge into song.

The rest of us just want one minute of peace and quiet so that Celtic families and families of our former players who fought in the World Wars, fighting and defeating fascism in the 1939-45 conflict can be remembered.

Maybe it’s time Celtic reviewed the allocation of away day tickets to spread them around the season ticket holders rather than simply giving favourable treatment to same group every single away game?

Additional Comments…

I could not agree more, but it seems since Lawwell left no-one in authority at Celtic will stand up to these ‘Attention Seekers’. The Irish fans, like most supporters I know are embarrassed and fed-up by the GB., who are made up of young guys who know little of Irish history, but continue to use our beloved club as a vehicle for their self-indulgent bigotry. Their ‘No-one likes us, we don’t care’ attitude seems very familiar.

L O’Hara

Thanks for this article – it will be slated by some and certainly on the Celtic forums where a minority bully and mock those who have a thoughtful view on all things related to our great club. The article was spot on and reflects what I believe is the view of the vast majority of fans.

I remember being in the Jungle when the Malvinas chants caused the fans to fight amongst themselves because many had friends or family serving out there. Regardless of the rights or wrongs of the war it was still their sons, brothers, uncles, fathers and maybe even sisters who were out there.

Let the sensible voice prevail.

David G

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


  1. At last someone speaking for the majority of Celtic fans and not the moronic minority, who continually embarrass our club. Stop their ticket allocation…

  2. Wholeheartedly agree. A lot of our fans think that just because they sing a few songs they are the visual embodiment of Micheal Collins. Very very few of them grew up in West Belfast during the height of the troubles. I seen the injustices. But where I see the difficulties is what any of this should have to do with supporting a football team. Celtic never have and never will support a political ideology, they will obviously support their Irish identity, obviously so many confuse the two.

    Or the distain they have for other teams signing policies by hypocritically telling people to go on home.

    Respect their dead and they will in turn rest ours

    • Well done well said time this lot were put in thier place they do not speak for anyone bar themselves also time the Celtic Supporters Association manned up and challenged them…then maybe thier social club takings dictates thier challenge, your point on allocation of tickets is also valid

      • Daniel McGarrell on

        No poppy no anthem, f#ck the brittish army, you can stick your minutes silence up yer arse

        • Terence MacLeod on

          Surely if you think that the injustices of West Belfast has nothing to do with supporting a football team, the same goes for a minute’s silence for dead service personnel.

          The article makes a wild generalisation about the knowledge of the singers of Republican songs. How about this generalisation – How many in the crowd who were SO DESPERATE to jeep a minute’s silence, will be attending a Remembrance ceremony this Sunday? THE ACTUAL REMEMBRANCE SUNDAY. Can bet it will not even be half.

          Surely if renembering the fallen is so important to people, they could go and do it on the actual day, at a war memorial. Not at a football match afull week beforehand?

          The hypocrisy is off the scale. Politics being forced on people who want to watch their team, it’s actually a disgrace. My Grandfather and Great-Uncle fought in WW2, both POWs who suffered horrors. They would see this as notbing more than it is, a jingoistic, propaganda stunt, with no genuine remembrance attached to it.

          War memorials on Remembrance Sunday are the places for a minute’s silence. That’s where people have gone for 100 years to remember. Stop forcing it into football.

          • Merely looking for any silence to be observed, not a poppy wearer myself, not against the Green Brigade protests and there are other ways to protest over this sleince – stay outside until it’s over, turn your back, whatever – then get on with the next protest. This merely plays into the enemies of Celtic’s hands every single time. Getting the poppy off the Celtic shirt was an achievement, it becomes a non issue if any silence is observed. Should they happen in the first place? That’s not down to us as a club and we always seem to have an away game. It’s always easier to remain silent on these matters because the inevitable backlash which is reminiscent of the way the mob across the city behave. Vast majority of feedback however has been very positive.

      • As an ex solider, I don’t see the point in the poppy. It was a symbol of remembrance for the first world War so the world would never enter into a war like it again.
        It should of stopped after the start of the second world war.
        It is only a new thing , football clubs doing a minutes silence and wearing a poppy. The minutes silence should only be done on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th months.
        FIFA don’t allow the home nations to wear a poppy on their strips as its a political symbol

      • We have won the war.We are no longer oppressed.We must not lose the peace.These morons should listen to genuine supporters and stop embarrassing our club.

  3. What a load of balls!

    The sfa have madeca rod for their own backs by letting politics into football as the Poppy is that.

    Go and do some research mate and you wont sound ignorant!

    • 😂 going by pics of those chucking tennis balls yesterday some of them are still at primary schools. My father a nd his 5 brothers ,all bigger Celtic supporters than you’ll ever be , fought in the 2nd World War,and lost mates,equally as big Celtic supporters. How dare you say it’s alright to disrespect these people. YOU take it upon yourself to go down to the local Army recruitment office and protest there….or is that too brave for you to do,or,you might miss the fitba? Wannabe revolutionaries.🤦🏻‍♂️

    • So it’s the SFA’s fault a bunch of our fans want to behave like wallopers? Don’t talk pish pal. Much as I loathe the bassas they didn’t make those lads chant during the silence. Remembrance day may have been corrupted by britnattery but that doesn’t negate the fact that many of us lost family members during the two world wars and still respect their memory. Any time our fans do this they do their cause no favours and bring shame to the club. It’s the kind of “we know better and we’ll do whatever we want” arrogance you get from huns so they might want to have a think to themselves.

  4. I have no qualms about respecting the dead, and what about Peter Johnstone, the centre half of Young, Johnstone and McMaster of the great 1914? His body was never found but he died at Arras in 1917. Surely he must be remembered. There were other Celtic players as well who died, not to mention thousands of Celtic supporters. Both Jimmy McMenemy and Joe Dodds had a brother who died in the same week at Loos in 1915. They must surely be remembered. I am a great admirer of the Green Brigade, but I found yesterday’s behaviour hard to accept.

    • GB and most supporters do not have a problem remembering those who fought and died in both world wars I personally lost relation in those wars that is not the problem its about putting soldiers that were involved in troubles in Belfast and Black and Tans in Ireland in this Our Heroes thats the main reasons and you don’t need PHD to know about those atrocities

  5. I would just like to point out that Remembrance Sunday is NEXT SUNDAY, not last weekend. So why was this necessary last weekend? It is just another case of weaponising the poppy. Sincere people remember in the silence of their own hearts and don’t need a crowd to show off their so-called remembrance. It is a “see me” event. Public shows like this are an affront, because they just exist to make those who take part feel good about themselves and they have no right to DEMAND that others do the same as them.

    • Very poetic but utter crap. Why don’t they protest “ in the silence of their own hearts”? Because for them it’s a see me public event. It’s makes them feel good and they can fantasise about being revolutionaries even though some of them are still at school.

      • The Poppy has been hijacked from a symbol of remembrance for the slaughtered men and women of what we call WW1. It was also used as a fundraiser for injured soldiers, who discovered that they did not return as conquering heroes, but to a country embittered by the carnage and heading into recession.
        Through the 60/70/80s it was very much a low key thing and some wore a poppy, just contributed to ex servicemens charities or did neither.
        it has become a thing now and as stated earlier was politicised in the 6 counties. Celtic listened to some of their fans and do not issue a Celtic jersey with a poppy symbol on. Is that not enough??

  6. I did wonder how the same GB supporters always managed to secure away tickets.
    So they should not be hard to identify.
    Their behaviour at Dens was awful and as a club we should do all we can to prevent a repeat.
    Celtic are a club who should not be putting up with this

    • There are as clear as day pics of the ones throwing the tennis balls. Looked like they were still at school some of them.

  7. PhD in Irish history? If some of these clowns had an 11+ in Irish history they would understand that they insult the memory of Bobby Sands every time they mutter the moronic add on “MP” to the singing of Roll of Honour.

    • i wish the the so called green brigade would stop pushing their own agenda down the throats of the ordinary supporters ,who want to see the team focus on playing football and winning the league and not get distracted by the poor nonsense of the green brigade..hail hail,,,..o.bella ciao

  8. As awful as bloody Sunday was and as awful as the paras behaved that day rememberance day is about having a minutes thought for the hundreds of thousand of ordinary working class boys who lost their lives, especially, in the great war. I’d hazzard a guess that everyone of those idiots protesting yesterday has a relative that should have been remembered yesterday.

  9. Once again the good name of celtic fc has been tarnished by the few, If they want to bring attention to themselves do it away from the name of celtic.

  10. If it was just about the world wars and the fight against facism I would wear a poppy with pride, but it’s not. It’s about all british military campaigns and while there is still a campaign in Ireland, occupation and partition I can not with good conscience wear a blood soaked emblem

    • Go over to Northern Ireland and fight then. No ? I didn’t think so. Stop regurgitating nonsense like a parrot.

      • Sick of the Green Brigade and their politics. People in Northern Ireland on both sides of the divide are trying to make their own future and this lot keep dragging up the past. Silence can mean many things. It can mean you are respecting your fellow Celtic fans who are commemorating family and loved ones lost. My Father and his 7 brothers served in the Second World War. All Celtic men. All came home but many of their friends did not. I keep silent for them. Can the Green Brigade not respect my respecting of them. I do understand the suffering of Irish people under the British but Irishmen have moved on from those days. Why cant Scots boys. I bet a lot if them dont mind taking benefits or dole money from the British Government.

      • I am 58, I am Irish and I have lived through “the troubles” The war still goes on and will continue to do so while there is occupation and partition. I will be silent out of respect of the working classes who died at the behest of the “toffs” but I will not wear a blood soaked emblem

  11. The Silent Majority on

    Great article. I agree. Completely blinkered for people to say that they would be “silent for the Great War & WW2 dead, but not xyz” … that’s not what it’s about. If you would be silent for any, then be silent for all. Many of us have both Irish & Scottish grandparents, so whilst having views against Bloody Sunday etc (obviously), we still had relatives who fought in WW2 & am VERY proud of it. Embarrassing that was at Dens, but no surprise as the GB members that I know are people who need to grow up, people that should know better at their age .. & wee daft virgins who couldnae fight sleep, but talk a good game. Have to be in a gang to feel safe & secure, who does that? Cowards.

  12. Rememberance sunday is next sunday, AHHH Celtic not playing were are we going to get a story from and those who chose to have it on sat/sun had alterior motives on their minds not surprising in the least.

  13. Patrick Cullen on

    we should all read The Bhoys Who Went To War by Paul Lunney .Celtic War Heroes ,and wear a Shamrock with the poppy badge

  14. Around 30,000 Irishmen died in the first world war, I won’t wear a poppy because of what it has become but I’ll always respect the silence remembering all those who have had their lives taken through conflict, I can admire a lot of the work that the GB do with charity etc but I’m getting sick and tired of their sense of entitlement, most of them hardly out of their teens thinking they are Celtic football club, a club I’ve supported over 50 years, as did my father and grandfather before them, they are every bit as bad as the board they are constantly complaining about. Grow up, show some humility and start behaving like decent human beings otherwise you have no place claiming to represent the Celtic family.

  15. The minutes silence isn’t about those that fought and died in World wars though is it?
    This whole article is a pile of shite. Basically saying, it’s ok to have politics in football – but only certain types of politics and those certain types must comply with the MSM’s standards.
    Same people were quick to criticise the Palestine display a few years back – but quickly changed their tune when it was a global “success”. F**k off!!

  16. I never thought I’d see the day Celtic fans as a majority would turn their backs on Ireand and our ties to standing up against injustice and right wing propaganda.

  17. My uncle was a prisoner of war for 3years and helped beat Hitler. He died soon after his release. If it wasn’t for him and thousands like him,we would be speaking German. I would never die for the queen, but I would die for my family. One minutes silence is all that’s asked for. Is that too much for some fans to do. It’s embarrassing for fellow fans and the club, we support. I know rangers have adopted the poppy but we’re better than them. Look at your phone or speak to friends,but stop the heckling for Gods sake

  18. Martin Leadbetter on

    It has become almost impossible to get tickets for away games. The club rightly rewards those who go at every opportunity but it is making it a closed shop. I used to love going to away games when I could but now the stringent attendance requirements make that impossible – unless you know someone or are in the executive clubs.
    Sadly it also means that all the people who misbehave and let the club down amongst them are there again the following week. Yesterday and last Saturday were tiresome and ill judged protests from what is becoming a very politicised group. Understand why people don’t wear poppies or agree with the minute’s silence – but just shut up for 60 seconds a year and stop the club and ALL its supporters becoming easy targets of our rivals – including those in the media. I am sure that, like me, there are plenty who don’t care who Bernard Higgins is as long as he’s the best man for the job – and/or have no strong feelings about the West Bank or might indeed have sympathy for the state of Israel after all it has been through.
    For the next decent away game – no one who was at Dens yesterday should automatically get a ticket, there should be a public sale – balloted as required and without yesterday’s ticket holders eligible on the first pass – to change the demographic for one week at least. the normal rules could kick back in the following week. That – or the threat of it next time – would be a strong and practical response from our club – and make the GB or the away support think twice. This is a great football club with unique traditions and standards – including free speech and a welcome for all. Do we imagine Billy McNeill or Tommy Burns singing songs about the IRA or otherwise disrupting a minutes silence. GB are a fantastic support for the club – but, like all of us need boundaries.

  19. A minutes silence for the people responsible for Bloody Sunday and the Ballymurphy massacres and hundreds of other deaths? What about the people who castrated Mau Mau guerillas in Kenya, a minutes silence for them too? Or those who executed prisoners in the Falklands and Iraq? I will save my sympathy for the victims of violence not the perpetrators. I apply that logic to all armies. If you Volunteer to be a potential killer then everything that follows is on you.