Stuck at home during the coronavirus pandemic, I was asked to join a small group of volunteers online for a zoom call. A group, known as Celtic FC Foundation Supporters’ Committee, had been established for a number of years to help support and champion the activity of the Foundation.
They were looking for new volunteers so myself and the now Chair, Lisa Miller, joined this group to discuss ways in which we could raise its profile, plus raise funds for and awareness of the great work of Celtic FC Foundation.
Charities came into their own during the pandemic; supporting the most vulnerable in our societies, as well as key workers and those experiencing loneliness and isolation. The role of charities has never been more needed but, alongside this, the fundraising events that had previously been successfully delivered to bring in crucial funds were suddenly not allowed to take place. As someone who works in the events industry, I know how drastically different this was in general but for charities, it really did have a much more significant and detrimental impact. Some, as you will be aware, didn’t survive it.
When the world began to return to whatever ‘normal’ now is, the Committee was keen to bring people back together again in person, in support of the Foundation and in a celebration of Celtic fans and the amazing support they consistently give the team, home and away. Jim McGinley, a former Committee member, had an idea based on a similar event that he had delivered before and ‘Europe the Celtic Way – A Celtic Supporters Hoopenanny’ was born.
The event, hosted by Jane McCarry (Isa from Still Game), took place in April 2022 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Glasgow with over 200 guests. We had a night of entertainment, Celtic supporters’ stories, prizes, great food and even the European Cup! But, most importantly, the Celtic Family helped us raise £15,000 for the Foundation.
Roll forward a few months when we had all recovered, Lisa took over as Chair of our Committee and along with myself, Paul, Jen and Iain we met again. This time in person! And as determined as ever to organise another event – this time bigger and even better! We went on to recruit more new members – Lorna, Derek and Steph – to form the Committee for this season and plan the next event…. ‘Seville: the Celtic Way’, celebrating that memorable trip many of you reading this will have made to the Spanish city 20 years ago this May. This will take place on Saturday, May 6, 2023 (yes that bank holiday weekend!), once again at the Crowne Plaza Hotel.
In 2003, we travelled to Seville on planes, trains and automobiles to watch our team take on Porto in the UEFA Cup Final. Despite the ultimate heartbreak of losing on the night, our fans turned Seville green and white and created a carnival atmosphere. We did ourselves and our Club proud and our impeccable behaviour was recognised through FIFA’s Fair Play Award. All 80,000 of us who travelled have stories to tell and this event is all about celebrating us, the fans. The adventures we had along the way to Seville, the memories we made and the people we shared those special times with.
You will enjoy a delicious three-course Spanish themed meal, party games, auction and raffle plus live entertainment which will be provided by David McKendrick. You will also have the opportunity to enter our fantastic prize draw to win a trip to Seville! Although we can’t promise the trip will be as eventful as it was in 2003!
So dust off your sombreros and beach balls and join us in recreating that carnival atmosphere, while celebrating those magical memories! Tickets are on sale until midnight on Friday, April 14, 2023 and can be booked individually, as well as in tables of ten, by visiting the following link Seville The Celtic Way
Julie Duncan, Seville: The Celtic Way