Why Celtic is one of the world’s most loved football clubs

Celtic will always have their fans betting on their win. They are one of the most loved football clubs in the country and have transcended the status of simply being well-supported – they are a part of what it takes to be truly patriotic towards Ireland.

Since its inception in 1888, Celtic has had strong Irish roots woven into its fabric. Brother Walfrid, an Irishman, founded the club with the goal of improving the living conditions of Glasgow’s Irish immigrant community. Celtic is a name that pays homage to the club’s dual Irish-Scottish heritage. The Celtic cross and then added later, a four-leaf clover, both traditional Irish symbols, appear on the club’s emblem, and the club’s colours are green and white, which are also traditional Irish colours.

More than a Football Club, much more…

Celtic is one of just five clubs in history to have won more than 100 trophies. The club has won the Scottish league title 51 times, the most recent of which being in 2019–20, as well as the Scottish Cup 40 times and the Scottish League Cup 19 times. They will also go down in history as the first British football club to ever win the European Cup! Let’s take a look at all the other reasons why the Celtics are still one of the most loved football clubs of all time…

Support Level 

Celtic  is one of a few teams with so many fans and supporters that they have formed an entire association around it. The Association of Irish Celtic Supporters Clubs (AICSC) keeps track of 44 registered supporters’ clubs and a number of unregistered groups around Ireland.

Even U2’s Bono is among the Hoops supporters, Bono being amongst many famous Irish stars that are proud of their ancestors and homeland! In 2003, Celtic fans were believed to come in at approximately 9 million people worldwide. There are around 200 fan clubs dedicated to the squad in over 30 nations, as well as various supporters groups like The Green Brigade and fan media sites and websites such as The Celtic Star.

Ancient Rivalries  

Rangers were the Celtic’s historic opponents, and the two teams were known as the Old Firm. They dominated Scottish football for the most part until the Ibrox club founded in 1872 went into liquidation in 2012. owing over £100m in debts that the club could not pay.. The Old Firm clubs have won the Scottish league title 106 times.

Rangers FC  went bust in 2012 and a phoenix club was founded from the dead clubs ashes. They won their first ever title earlier this year. The fixture between Celtic – with its unbroken history and the new Rangers club is now properly known as the Glasgow Derby. Each year Celtic renew their intellectual rights to the Old Firm brand in order that they can control it and make sure that it is not used, as the events of 2012 are not forgotten.

Considering the next record is 19 wins, this is an amazing staticstic. It is difficult to support either of these clubs if you are not nationally biased, because of the tragic geopolitical conflict that engulfed the six counties in the North of Ireland in the twentieth century.. It is these events that have split the fans depending on their ethnic and religious views or simply based on where they want to hold their patriotism. Many Celtic supporters in the North of Ireland regard their support as a symbol of their Irishness. Support for Celtic’s arch-rivals, on the other hand, has become a symbol of Britishness in Northern Ireland’s Unionist community. 

The most successful sides in Scottish football are Celtic and  the now deceased Rangers, but that is only one element of their fierce rivalry. Their animosity derives from their divergent perspectives on religion, identity, and politics, as well as their shared links to Ireland. Celtic fans are Irish Scots, Catholics, and Republicans, whereas Rangers’ supporters are native Scots or Ulster-Scots, Protestants, and Loyalists. Rangers’ fans are also more pro-British, waving Union Jack banners at games, although Celtic supporters are more likely to hoist the Irish tricolour flag. 

A Little History Behind the Bhoys 

The term “Bhoys” was a self-reference and appellation among Irish emigrants. The additional letter was most likely an attempt to simulate Irish pronunciation and a sense of cultural belonging. The extra letter in “boys” is said to symbolise the word’s soft h inflection in Irish pronunciation. The h is said to have been added to titles (such as place names) by Victorians to make them appear/read more Gaelic. To make girls sound and appear Gaelic, it was changed to “Ghals” or “Ghal”.  

If anything, the term Bohys is a catchy nickname for Celtic fans that accurately reflects the club’s heritage and cultural connections. The Celtic team of the time is referred to as “The Bould Bhoys” on a postcard from the turn of the century, which is the earliest substantial proof the club has for the origin of their unusual nickname. 

The Green Brigade 

Earlier the Green Brigade was mentioned but who are they? The Celtic  supporter organisation The Green Brigade was created in 2006.  With over 1000 active members they are the biggest Celtic ultras supporters group, and they have an influence on and off the pitch with them often getting involved in political matters.

The Green Brigade supported the Black Lives Matter movement after the killing of George Floyd and renamed many streets in Glasgow after famous black civil rights leaders and activists. 

20th November 2021; Hampden Park, Glasgow City, Scotland; Scottish League Cup semi-final, Celtic versus St Johnstone;

Celtic sought to abolish the Green Brigade section at Parkhead following unrest at a match against Motherwell at Fir Park on 9 December 2013 during which fans were accused of trashing the stadium seating and throwing flares onto the pitch, causing £10,000 in damage. Celtic had already warned the group about safety concerns they had been constantly causing in mid-August of 2013, and 128 fans were suspended as a precaution after the incident at Fir Park. 250 season-ticket holders in section 111 at Celtic Park, the group’s preferred section, were either relocated or granted a refund for the remainder of the season, which considering their behavior was the lightest due punishment.  

20th November 2021; Hampden Park, Glasgow City, Scotland; Scottish League Cup semi-final, Celtic versus St Johnstone; Celtic fans banner unveiled during the match

That thankfully never happened and the Green Brigade these play an important part in generating the atmosphere at Celtic games. This weekend at the League Cup semi-final match against St Johnstone they organised two truly amazing tributes to Lisbon Lion and Celtic legend Bertie Auld who sadly passed away last weekend.

Celtic Love 

Currently, Celtic F.C. is 4 points behind  theRangers but are in excellent form and the Celtic Fans anticipate that this gap will be closed either before or when the two sides meet on 2 January 2022. It seems like nothing will change in terms of Celtic and a Rangers club dominating the Scottish Premiership! Celtic electricity and love are in the air this winter season. Celtic is currently preparing for the League Cup Final after defeating holders St Johnstone in the semi-final yesterday.

Martin Boyle of Hibernianscores their team’s first goal during the Premier Sports Cup semi-final match between Hibernian and Rangers at Hampden Park on November 21, 2021 (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

However theRangers will not be at Hampden for the final on 19 December after they lost 3-1 to Hibs on Sunday afternoon.  Celtic can go into the Glasgow Derby in good spirits and hopefully with one cup back in the trophy cabinet at Celtic Park when theRangers show up on 2 January. The Celtic Fans will be excited about winning that one and going on to become the Champions of Scotland once again.

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

6 Comments

  1. Blah blah blah. Put our Croatian national RB in his true position and move Ralston somewhere else. I’ve said this until I’m blue in the face. Ralston actually was subbed on by Clarke on the left. Do we really have to continue this ridiculous thing where we are putting a stranglehold on a International gem who will eventually move on because he is not developing properly. J will fuck off from Celtic because he is young and knows he can be much better elsewhere when a team places him in his position. And I won’t blame him. I am a starter for the Croatian National team but I can’t break in because of a man named Ralston who barely gets a sniff on Scotland. Absolute joke. I wish you well in your future mate. Go somewhere where you can shine.

  2. You can all have your collective wank but the reality is.. Ralston was a Ford who has now developed into a Lincoln and I love him for it but Mr. J is a Cadillac. Please tell me you understand and your head doesn’t zip up at the back.

  3. Ask yourself this question. What Celtic player plays on a National FIRST team that is ranked higher than any other Celtic players National team. Answer: Our so called LB. Idiocy.

  4. But the Green Brigade loves him. That’s because those clowns are a collective. Soft minded people only feel strong in a group. Get one of them alone and they are mince. Weak sheep. Carry on.

  5. The Green Brigade love Ralston. That’s my point. And so do I. But wake up. Mr. J will leave Celtic in a heartbeat if he doesn’t gain RB start and I don’t blame him.

  6. Pardon me for being stupid, but I don’t really see a problem here. We have two excellent players competing for the same spot. What is the problem?