Scott Alcroft with A Celtic State of Mind – It’s Me or Celtic…

It’s been a very strange time for us all recently and, with a lot of thinking time, what are the things at the moment that are crossing all of our minds?

Our family?
Our friends?
Our job?
Finding a job?
Our current partner?
Our ex-partners?
Money?
Our past?
Our future?
What’s important in life now and, of course, Celtic?

I had just finished my little swim this morning and Celtic crossed my mind. I thought, I just can’t wait to see them playing again. I miss them. I’m at a stage in my life now where watching Celtic at least on TV won’t be an issue but it has been in the past. This gave me a wee idea that I haven’t seen covered before on a Celtic page…

Has your current or ex-partner got in the way of your love for Celtic?
Has your love for Celtic ever affected a relationship with a family member?
Has your love for Celtic ever affected you in the workplace or stopped you getting a job?
Have you lost friends through supporting Celtic?

The questions here could go on and on but one defining factor or answer to all of these questions is that Celtic have forever been a constant in my life. Celtic Park is our Mecca and we visit there to feel at home. I’m going to give you all a few examples of situations I’ve been in involving theses questions and let me know if any of you can relate. I won’t name the people involved as that would be unfair to do so.

Listen to DES MCLEAN with A Celtic State of Mind here:

Has your current or ex-partner got in the way of your love for Celtic?

My recent ex-partner was a beautiful and elegant lady from up the Spanish coast. She was English and football to her was completely alien. I kinda like to get it in early when dating that I’m a massive Celtic fan and it’s pretty much a huge part of my life. I don’t have a like it or lump it attitude about it, but having a couple of hours a weekend to watch them doesn’t seem like such a big deal to me, but it was to her. I think it was our second date and we walked past an Irish bar in a small Spanish town. I suggested after food that we go in there for a drink to which her reply was, “I wouldn’t be seen dead in an Irish bar”. I probably should’ve known then but persevered.

Getting away after that to watch Celtic became an issue because most of the games over here, as you can imagine, are watched in Irish bars. Then when friends want to meet up to watch the fitba’, again it’s in an Irish bar, so she wouldn’t come. Eventually it got to the point where I had to say something and inevitably as it was all alien to the lady in question, she just didn’t get it. Needless to say, I’m not with the lady in question now. It wasn’t anything to do with the Celtic situation (ha ha) but, as you can see, the compromise was never going to be there so it may have played a tiny part.

Has your love for Celtic ever affected a relationship with a family member?

I come from a family of half and half. One half is Celtic and the other is Rangers. Most of the time it’s friendly banter so I can honestly say that I haven’t had a major fall-out with anyone really regarding football. There’s been plenty of minor ones, for sure, but that’s part and parcel of it all. I haven’t really been around my family for most of my adult life due to working abroad so possibly that’s been a factor. I remember that one or two blocked me on social media after their liquidation as I was constantly lapping that up so that’s understandable, but most of them added me again after they finally managed a victory against us in the past year or so.

Has your love for Celtic ever affected you in the workplace or stopped you getting a job?

My love of Celtic has never affected me getting a job but I’ve heard of plenty of people that it has done to over the years, so be sure to send us in your experiences. There is one story, though, that springs to mind that involved myself personally and put me in a very difficult situation… I think, at the time, I dealt with it in the right way.

I was a boss in Scotland in the NHS at a Hospital in Ayrshire from 2013-2018. I had around a dozen men under me in my section and I would say it was probably 50% Celtic fans and 50% Rangers fans in the section. I allowed banter every single day and even got involved in it but everybody knew that there was a line. I even had a Chinese on as a wee bet with one of my guys for every Celtic v Rangers game. As you can imagine, I put a lot of weight on.

We beat them yet again one day, it was a Sunday and, after the game, my phone beeped. I had been tagged in a video. It was the said individual who I classed as a pal and it was himself holding the camera and going round every single individual in his living room who all had had a bit much to drink and were all wearing Rangers tops. I had never met one of these people, including his wife who was an NHS worker too. I got the full sectarian onslaught from every person individually that was there along with being called a “kiddie fiddler” because of the football team I supported. That’s when banter crosses the line. I told him that I would like to see him in my office the next again day. Within the hour, the video had been deleted.

The individual had taken the next day off but himself and his wife were on the phone to me crying and apologising the next day as they realised the enormity of what they had done. I didn’t know what to do. Was it worth two people losing their jobs over and also their home? As that’s what would have happened. I took the following day to think about what I was going to do. The individual came to my office on the Tuesday morning. He did nothing but cry in my office. This was a man who was nearly 50 years old. There’s banter and then there’s crossing the line. I left it at that but he left my office knowing the severity of the situation. I could’ve ruined two people’s lives but never. Really, they nearly ruined their own.

Have you lost friends through supporting Celtic?

Oh, for sure, 100%. I’m 42 now and to think back over the years, there have been plenty that I’ve lost. I think, as you get older, you mellow out. Well, some of us do. You only need to read the section above. I think, though, looking back, it was all over silly stuff. One that definitely springs to mind was over a bet. I had a bet on with a pal for one of the games against Rangers and it was for a substantial amount. We beat them and the individual never paid. This went on and on and on until I just said, “Do you know what? Keep the money, the victory was sweeter.” The friendship was then over. I was probably in my late teens, so all a bit silly really but at the time I wasn’t happy. There have been countless others as well.

Anybody who comes away with the ‘Big Jock Knew’ patter or has anything derogatory about Tommy Burns or Scott Brown’s sister isn’t a football fan, they are just sick individuals, so a few of them have been binned over the years too. All in all, and like I’ve said before, I’m all for banter. Love it! However, when it comes to religious hatred, sectarianism, making fun of paedophilia or mocking people who died of cancer, then count me out thanks.

I thought that this would be an interesting article to cover. Has supporting Celtic affected anything at all in your life? Let myself or the guys at ACSOM know in the comments or contact us directly, as we’d be interested to hear from you.

Article for ACSOM by Scott Alcroft @ScottAlcroft

Scott is the author of the books The Bunnet, Hugo and The Factory Girls. All three books are available on Amazon.

Watch JOHN YOGI HUGHES with A Celtic State of Mind:

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