With the international break in full swing, I thought it would be a good opportunity to catch up with another one of the many overseas Celtic Supporters Clubs. Having already checked in with a few clubs in Boston, New Jersey and Montreal, it made sense to hear about the fans based on the west coast of North America this time around. James McCann, President of the LACSC gave me the lowdown on the club he has the pleasure of representing.
Originally dating back to the late 1960s, the LA Celtic Supporters Club was started by a couple of Scotsmen who settled in the City of Angels. Club members had to have something of a nocturnal love affair with the Hoops, as the significant time difference between Glasgow and LA meant members were turning up for a match anywhere between 2 a.m. 11 a.m. to get their fix of a live Celtic match. This resulted in the supporters club closing its doors in 2015. However, due to a renewed interest from an eager fanbase, the club started to grow and, in early 2018, the club was able to officially open its doors again to new memberships.
Finding a home in Joxer Daley’s Pub at 11168 Washington Boulevard in Culver City, the 130-strong membership of the LACSC turn up regularly to watch the Hoops in action. Membership prices range depending on age and the club sell a wide range of merchandise from polo shirts to pin badges and travel mugs all sporting the supporters club logo. Non members are welcome to join the regulars for a live screening of a Hoops match, with a $10 cover fee for visitors. Pre and post-match entertainment from the club members’ playlists and a few beers will make visitors feel at home and maybe even offer the chance to watch a match with Rod Stewart or Hollywood actor Tony Curran.
As a club, it is difficult to organise a joint trip back to Glasgow for a Celtic match, but it doesn’t stop smaller groups making the pilgrimage to Paradise to see the Hoops during the season. The club recently set up links with the Tyneside CSC No 1, giving members of both supporters clubs a unique link across the pond.
Originally from Belfast, James McCann explained that making trips to Glasgow in the 1980s to watch Celtic provided a much-needed escape from the escalation in violence witnessed in his home city during this time. This escape and watching the success of Scottish Cup wins against Dundee United in 1985 and in the centenary year helped seal his love of Celtic that continues to this day, enjoying the thrill of watching so many great names from McStay to Larsson and everything after.
Although the kick-off times might seem a tough gig, a warm welcome awaits Celtic fans looking to watch a match during a trip to LA. James and the members of the LACSC will make sure of this.
Twitter – @CelticLos
Facebook – Los Angeles Celtic Supporters Club
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