MAKING THE CELTIC HEART GROW FONDER

Last week I had the privilege of watching the Celtic versus Dundee match live in the Parlour Bar with the good people of the New York Celtic supporters’ club.

It’s a long way from home but there is a little bit of Parkhead in that Manhattan bar and it was great to meet up with some fellow Celts whilst being a stranger abroad. Most of guys are ex-pats and a warm welcome is extended to every Celtic fan who comes along and Mrs Saint, junior and I were no exception.

Brian and Derek are the ‘meeter and greeters’ and there were around 30 of us in the Parlour to watch the proceedings from Celtic Park. A Sunday match with a 10am start (NYC time) kept the crowd down slightly and I’m informed that there can be up to 400 in the Parlour for big matches. The advent of Celtic TV has affect the numbers attending but there is the camaraderie of being together which encourages the New York Celts to turn out.

What was impressive was that some of the guys will travel a fair distance across New York to Manhattan, just to be with their fellow Celts. On a beautiful September morn (it was 75 degrees) that may be no hardship but in a gruelling New York winter these guys show great dedication when a lot of home based fans won’t travel across Glasgow to watch the team for a home game.

When the teams was announced there was great discussion re selection (where are Simunovic and Allan ?) and when it kicked off the New York Celts cheered the Bhoys on to a 6-0 victory. At half time there as taste of home with pies and beans and yet more discussion. Also at half time the committee announce any visitors in the bar to loud acclaim.

It was my great pleasure to meet my good friend John Butterfield, once a resident of Renfrew, and any readers of the The Celt fanzine will be famiiar with John’s writings under the moniker of Noah Billy (as in I’m Noah Billy, I’m a Tim…gettit ?).

I have to confess that we had to leave early due to a prior engagement and missed the last two goals, something that would never happen at Parkhead. We said our farewells and were gone.

If any Celtic fan finds themselves in New York there should get themselves along to the Parlour Bar where a warm welcome is assured. The massive Celtic flag outside the bar is a most welcoming sight.

I thoroughly believe that Celtic’s biggest asset is not the team or any individual player. It is the supporters who carry the Celtic gospel to all ends of the earth who are the biggest asset we have. The New York CSC are a classic example of that.

When we were departing from JFK airport, the Holy Father was jetting in. Wonder if he turned up at the Parlour for the Hearts game ?

New York CSC – Parlour Bar 250 West 86th St, New York, NY 10024

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