Catholic or Protestant – Celtic is for all

Guest writer Maitiu Connel witha piece on his passion for Glasgow Celtic.


Having been born and raised in a Unionist section of the community in the north of Ireland, it is not a very common occurrence to meet those who would be supporters of Glasgow Celtic. On the the inside there are perhaps many more Celtic supporters than one would expect. However, public expression of this support is not on the cards for persons within such situations. Due to the sectarian nature and abuse they may well receive.

I was raised around Scottish football in the form of my close relation being from Scotland and the frequent visits of various Scottish relatives. Some were die hard Rangers supporters who held season tickets to Ibrox whilst others where season holders at Celtic Park.

My Grandfather was a Celtic supporter and often I had the chance to watch them play on the TV whilst staying at their home. There was a certain allure to those green and white hoops. The style in which they played. The chants and songs of the crowds in the Jungle.

All my boyhood friends were mainly Rangers supporters due to their father or uncle buying them and making them support Rangers. Though most had never been to Ibrox nor really cared for Rangers. It was Manchester United and Liverpool whom they had a real passion for.

Upon starting high school the Catholic boys were mostly all Celtic fans and always wore something of Celtic to school. This was my first exposure and experience of speaking to other supporters my own age.

I often got jokes about being a “hun” supporting the Celts. Beyond light hearted jokes there was never any real hatred. My Scottish family had always spoke of how the old firm teams were only used as an extension of sectarian hatred for many. An observation that I feel is very true.

The old firm matches each year were always an experience for us playing football near the local bar. With drink flowing and the Rangers scoring or losing, it was always met with a roar of either victory or threats of doing the fenian bastards in. Many would have sailed over to watch the old firm matches live. It was very much driven into us that Celtic were an avenue of Irish Republicanism. The great unwashed, and supporters of the IRA. A very broad brushing of misconceptions. I always admired the Socialist principles of helping the poor that drove Brother Walfrid to start a football club not just as a method to raise money to feed the poor but also to give an escape to the daily grind of such poverty. Even in 2013 Celtic fans are involved in helping the local community via food banks. Sadly just recently there was a fuss created by some bigots in Scotland who refused to accept aid from Celtic supporters.

Celtic has a very proud history and were the first UK club to win the European Cup in the 1960's.

I will never forget my first ever Celtic match. Paradise was packed with near 60,000 people. One end of the stadium the crowd shouted "Glasgow's green and white"  to be met seconds later with a vocal reply from the opposite end of "Glasgow's green and white". After the first Celtic goal a wonderful spectacle spread around the stadium as every fan took to their feet, turned their backs and bounced to the famous Celtic huddle.

Rangers fans have an alternative version called the bouncy. I once asked a Rangers fan exactly what the bouncy was about as it is a relatively new feature. He smiled and laughed as he explained that the bouncy is in regards to an attack upon a Catholic once in which loyalists bounced on the victims head. No words can express the shock I felt on hearing this.

As a parent I enjoy the passing on of this fine club to my children, as it was passed on to I. The age old expression from the club that "Celtic is more than just a football club" is true. It is a way of life. It brings a family together. It gives memories that can be shared for generations to come. To me and my family, Celtic is a huge aspect of out lives. Not about politics nor religion. If you are a true Celtic fan then you know exactly what it is really about.

Hail Hail.


  1. Maitiu-

    Good write up-I have been to about
    3 Celtic games in my day and would support them in a bar during a match but I would not lose my head over it-that's some loyalty that different sport stars have-

    A young Loyalist was killed a few years back when his pipe-bomb went off in his hand and I remember reading at the time that a Celtic jersey was put on his coffin because he was a fan-sometimes politics and sport mix and sometimes a person just loves a team no matter what-

  2. Maitui.

    Strange to see your entire view of the "Rangers Bouncy" is based on the opinion of one person.

    Is this how you usually form your opinions? Or is it only when you're doing your nauseating "I'm a Hun but I like Republicanism" routine.

    Some of the gallery on here may be enjoying the back slapping but I'd guess many will see through it.

    For the record both Celtic and Rangers have support for outside their own respective camps, also unfortunately they share some of the most vile and sectarian neanderthals to walk the streets, I'd guess you've never visited a Glasgow A&E on Old Firm Day.

    You're attention seeking drivel is becoming more desperate by the week.

  3. Andy,
    I don't follow football much..I keep an eye on Man Utd, more of a habit (like smoking) than any real interest..I never heard of the Rangers Bouncy thingy until Maitiu's piece..

    Seeing as you seem better informed, why don't you explain what the bouncy thingy means instead of some half hearted, lame character assassination..

  4. Rangers fans have been doing the bouncy for decades, as have football fans throughout the World.

    Is there really any need for a further explanation to why a group of football fans would jump up and down?

    Judging by Mathui's wee story his first Celtic game was only 2/3 seasons ago max but he's on here giving it the big one about More Than A Club, Paradise and Hail Hail whilst sticking the boot into those pesky Loyalists.

    I feel wick for him!!

  5. Andy,
    I didn't ask how long Rangers fans have been bouncing. I asked what it means. Maitiu gave one definition. You haven't.

    I have read one report that alludes to it started shortly after the death of Robert Hamill. If you read the piece correctly you'd have seen maitiu was watching and supporting Celtic since he was pup. But because of the sectarian crap than infested irish society he was unable to support them openly out of fear or other.

    Personally I think your grievances are because he is an Irish protestant who openly supports Celtic and not bigoted wee hun.

    So the guy has an interest in Irish history and his beliefs are more republican than loyalist..Big deal. They're his opinions.

    At the end of the day he (like the rest of us<--includes yourself) eats, shits and sleeps like the rest of the us.

    Again, instead of saying "They've been doing it for years"..Explain what you think the meaning behind the Rangers bouncy is...

  6. Football fans throughout the World jump up and down, the only reason for this would be to create an atmosphere on the terraces or stands.

    Robert Hamill was murdered in 1997, Rangers supporters have been doing the Bouncy since at least the late 80's older fans may say further back but I can't speak for them.

    Maitiu has only been going to games for a couple of seasons, Celtic fans I know would cringe at the assertion of anything else being behind the bouncy.

    Instead he came on here and embarrassed himself with complete and utter nonsense designed to suck up to people who frequent this site.

  7. Andy,

    No sucking up to people in you? lol