With preparations in full swing for The Land of Smiles Celtic Supporters Festival in South East Asia in 2020, I caught up with Frank Simpson of the Bangkok Celtic Supporters Club to hear all about their club and their long-distance love affair with Celtic.
The supporters club was started back in 2010 by Frank, and he has been the main point of contact for the club ever since. As well as managing the social media accounts, Frank makes sure everything runs smoothly at the bar on match-day. This is a big change from his first time watching Celtic when he was six-years-old, as Frank explained, “I come from a big Celtic family and the love of the club gets passed down from generation to generation. My first Celtic game was against Hibs at Easter Road in 1981… we missed a penalty, got beat 1-0 and my heart was broken.”Listen to the award-winning A Celtic State of Mind podcast
Originally from Fife and a member of the Anton Rogan No1 supporters bus, Frank moved away from Scotland in 2003. Even though he’s now based nearly 6000 miles away, the Celtic remains a constant in Frank’s life and those who visit O’Shea’s Irish Bar in Bangkok on match-day feel the same way too. The recent sale of Kieran Tierney means Frank is searching for a new favourite player, but with his memories of watching club greats like Tommy Burns, Paul McStay and Henrik Larsson in their prime, he knows other members of the current squad will be waiting to shine in the hoops.
With 10-15 regulars making their way to the club for most matches, the bar gets busier for bigger games and cup finals. The new venue this season should see a good mix of Irish and folk songs before each match. Membership of the CSC will entitle members to ‘Happy Hour’ prices in O’Shea’s every day, as well as a club t-shirt, with profits going to the Thai Tims. Frank explained, “It is also customary for us to do a huddle in the streets of Bangkok each time we win a trophy. The locals love it!” Those locals will certainly be used to watching Celtic fans celebrating, after our recent Treble Treble success.
The distance between Bangkok and Paradise makes planning any trip to Glasgow for the club extremely difficult, however plans are afoot for members to visit other CSCs in and around Singapore and Hong Kong this coming season.
If you do find yourself in Bangkok during the season, you should be able to catch weekend 3 p.m. matches in good company at O’Shea’s (formerly Herrity’s) Irish Bar, Sukhumvit Soi 33/1, and due to the time difference, European or evening matches are shown in the Craic bar just off Sukhumvit Soi 22. The door to the Bangkok CSC is always open to visitors looking to catch the Celtic match on their travels.
You can contact the club on social media at: