David Potters Reflections: The Green Brigade & Rebel Songs


Posted By kevingraham

Posted in Articles, Opinion

There is no greater fan of the Green Brigade than myself. They add so much to the occasion at Celtic Park and elsewhere with their well co-ordinated singing and backing of the club. In some ways they are the envy of other clubs for their enthusiasm, and I am sure that the players on the field appreciate them. Were I a younger man, I would definitely be in their ranks jumping about with the rest of them.

The trouble is that they go too far. Let’s not pretend otherwise – flares are dangerous. We can cope with green smoke billowing over the ground for a few minutes, but let’s be honest, accidents can happen. Anything that can cause a fire at a football ground really has to be banned. Wise up to that one please, bhoys and ghirls! We do not want to be outlawed from Europe or compelled to play our games behind closed doors. Please in the name of Celtic, no more flares!

The Irish Republican side of Celtic is a reality. Most supporters would agree with the abolition of the Irish border, deplore what the British Army has done, and abhor the vast amount of money spent on outdated institutions like the Royal Family. I repeat we are sympathisers, and historically, I loved the equation of Bobby Sands with William Wallace as “patriots”. “Over The Sea to Skye” and “Flower of Scotland” are also rebel songs. Nevertheless, the portrait of a para-military soldier went too far. Whatever needs to be achieved must really be done, in the 21st century, WITHOUT violence.

And there is no point in denying that the other side are a million times worse. Yes, they glorify violence as well, and they have got off with it for centuries under the guise of misplaced “patriotism” “loyalism” and bogus religion. I can’t help feeling as well sometimes that the old lady of Balmoral herself (like her or not!) must be appalled and embarrassed by some of the things said and done in her name.

But we MUST be better than everyone else. We will really hurt them if we beat them on the football field. We won 6-0 over the two legs, we beat their pals 5-1 a couple of times last year, we have beaten them 7-1 on another famous occasion, and of course 1967 will for ever remain a constant source of pain! We do not need paramilitaries when we have Henrik Larsson and Patsy Gallacher! Let us see more pictures of men like them! We have enough to boast about there! Our history is a glorious one.

Let the Green Brigade continue to flourish, but let them eliminate some of the extremes of their behaviour, especially the bits that alienate our own side. The singing is fantastic (and yes, continue the rebel songs!) and their support much valued and appreciated but no more of the stuff that embarrasses the club and gets us into trouble.

David Potter



  1. John L
    Posted July 22, 2017 at 10:21 am | Permalink

    Couldn’t agree more, and I sure the vast majority of Celtic supporters would as well , great article. HH

    • Posted July 23, 2017 at 6:53 am | Permalink

      Great article……they have short memories….about 5 years ago they boycotted 2 games at Celtic Park over police harassment. The harassment was very obvious. I went on the GB site and said that staying away was wrong and they had to use due process to complain. The following March they organised an unauthorised March from the Crystal Bells to Celtic Park. This was Kettled by the police and about 13 young fans handcuffed and dragged into a fleet of waiting Paddy wagons. I unwittingly witnessed it all. I offered to act as a witness and also posted on their website that their actions were illegal was critical of their leadership and the difficulties that they would cause to those arrested……I was wrongfully arrested at Ibrox in the early 70s…..i offered advice on how to apply for March permission and they paraded in all their glory to CP at the last game 2 years ago…..i was banned from their website…….Lets hope they start playing by the same rules as all…..whilst challenging in a legal fashion and continue to add noise and colour at CP……the four horsemen remains my favourite….you do not support Celtic by staying away or breaking the rules….only add support to our many detractors!

  2. Mark McDonagh
    Posted July 22, 2017 at 10:37 am | Permalink

    Wish I could have put it over as well myself.

    C’mon the Green Brigade, the Palestinian flags and the way you raised consciousness and cash for a worthy cause, was special. The Irish cause, though special to our hearts, is not one of provocation, but response. The whole world is aware of that the british government try to hide, the famine, Bloody Sunday, etc., etc., etc., but the flag makes us look like thugs and worthy of lesser from the other side. Bless you and think with your hearts. Their is a growing call for a United Ireland vote, without arms. Lets concentrate on that. Tiocfaidh ár lá Tiocfaidh ár lá

  3. Philip
    Posted July 22, 2017 at 10:48 am | Permalink

    Brilliant analysis. Wholeheartedly agree with everything in the article. COYBIG.

  4. phil ferguson
    Posted July 22, 2017 at 10:57 am | Permalink

    Yet again another so called Celtic fan has good dig at the green brigade,,let me just remind u what happened at Celtic park last season when sevco fans trashed Celtic park,over a1/4 million pound of damages, but yet not 1 member of the Celtic tory board even uttered 1 word of anger towards the sash bashers,not then and not now,did protestant police Scotland want the huns barred for two games.NO,did the torys in charge of Celtic want them barred NO..but u and others want the Celtic fans banned, ur type make me sick,,,

    • Posted July 22, 2017 at 11:14 am | Permalink

      Joke Mr ferguson, mrpotter and I are in agreement and I’m. As much a celtic fan as u constructive support and criticism are allowed you ignoramus.

    • Posted July 22, 2017 at 11:16 am | Permalink

      No one wants them banned you shit talking ignoramous

    • shepsteve
      Posted July 22, 2017 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

      re ythe banners, I was born and brought up in Glasgow from a protestant family background. Often heard the sash being played in my house which I found distasteful. I love Celtic FC I love the Irish culture that underlies it. The camaraderie the fans display whenever they travel abroad, the humour and the party spirit. Not the politics Nothing makes me feel more proud than watching our team play attractive football in Europe and displaying that fine culture and watching our fans displaying that culture.However, the rest of the world holds a very simplistic view of Glasgow football , seperated by religion and bigotry and my belief is that the republican banner reinforces that perception.

    • Johnny doyle
      Posted July 22, 2017 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

      Is Phil Ferguson a fake, or wind up ? Secco fans trashed Celtic park ? It was the usual toilet trash, it’s happened at ibrox in the past, It was £55k. And the club withheld the repair amount from their share of the gate receipt, as is the agreed protocol between the clubs. Tory board ? Wrong, but in any event Celtic transcends politics race and religion. Protestant police Scotland ? Wrong. I’m ex police. Just shite. Most hierarchy are neutral or tims. That’s a fact. He wants Huns barred for bad behaviour, but not misguided fans, a 1% assembly, who misbehave from our side celebrated. The best bit is dig at the green brigade…honestly…will Phil help pay our fine they caused ? Warning, another 8th fine from UEFA, and there’ll be a stand closure. Hope he’s one who misses the big European game because of a couple of teenage morons who embarrass the vast majority of our support. I enjoy there huddle and songs generally, but when it’s wrong, it’s wrong, can’t they behave ? Back to Protestant….stein, dalgleish, Mc grain, , any thoughts. In Brendan and d.d . I trust

  5. Althetim
    Posted July 22, 2017 at 11:02 am | Permalink

    In my opinion, we need to cut out the rebel songs. They alienate a large part of our support. This is 2017. If you want to sing rebel songs then I’d ask that you do so away from Celtic Park. This is no longer the place for them. Particularly now, when all our enemies in the media and at Hampden are looking for any excuse to drag us through the mud, deflecting attention from more than a decade of misgovernance which allowed cheating and the shambles currently unfolding across the city.

    If the GB wish to protest about anything then they could do us all a favour and use their undoubted skills to highlight the corruption within the governing bodies of Scottish football. Get behind RES12, the SFSA and strip-the-titles campaign.

    • Paul Johnston
      Posted July 22, 2017 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

      You make my stomach turn call your self a Celtic fan I’ve been in the jungle when rebel songs where belted out and now Celtic park is not the place to sing them now?you are no better than a Hun you rat (if you know your history) hing your head judas

      • kevingraham
        Posted July 22, 2017 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

        Less name calling. We are all entitled to our views.

      • Zoso7
        Posted July 22, 2017 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

        As a 7 year old kid I was in the jungle then progressed through to having a seat in the stands and have continued to support Celtic through the years but I didn’t find this article offensive …. society has changed mate what’s is special and will remain special about being a Celtic fan is this …. anywhere in the world in any version of activity you meet a Tim there’s an instant bond a mutual respect an understanding …… we have all sang rebel tunes at Celtic park and if there’s a fan who’s attended in the last 20 years that says they haven’t I’ll call them a liar no problem but it happens rarely now almost like it’s died out and that’s fine cos society has simply changed … I’ll no bullshit I play them in the car I listen to them and sing them I understand them and the struggles but even Ireland has moved on mate I feel it’s a bit harsh to call your fellow tims rats for not singing rebels at park head when it’s not exactly common place anymore. I don’t condem or condone the green brigade and I’ll tell you why … cos every single one of those people that walk through those gates or support that team love them as much as you or I do the only thing that’s went wrong here lately is we have given them an excuse to point the finger and call us scum while deflecting from their cheating ways over at ibrox they should be eating humble pie and acknowledging that years of cheating has led for a six year old club to claim 54 titles 10 cheated whilst you and I were paying 4/500 per season to sit in them stands but no….. they are pointing the finger and and claiming offence. Who’s really to blame cos I’m as responsible as the green brigade cos I’m a Celtic fan. We let the atmosphere change over the years so we should all be responsible. I love the green. Tigard just as much as I love any Celtic supporter wether their opinion is the same or different to mine. Hailx2

      • Althetim
        Posted July 22, 2017 at 5:29 pm | Permalink

        I stood in the jungle as well Paul. Belted out rebel songs with the best of them. However, the world has changed since the 70’s & 80’s. The people of Ireland have, to a greater extent, moved on. Sinn Fein joined the peace process, the PIRA disarmed and an agreement was signed on the 10th April 1998 formally bringing to an end the troubles that had plagued Ireland for over thirty years. You and your kind appear to still be living in the pre 1998 era. Across the river, the orcs are roundly condemned (by us) for living in the past. You and your ilk are no better. And you call me a Hun. Have a look at yourself in the mirror Paul, you are no better than them.

    • Michael Collins
      Posted July 23, 2017 at 3:40 am | Permalink

      Althetim. I agree with most of your post, but just what is wrong with listening to the fans singing “Grace”? I find it very moving, what about the “Boys of the Old Brigade”?
      We know they are not football songs, but they are in no way offensive.
      These songs are part of Irish history, and don’t forget how our club was born in the East end of Glasgow.

  6. James King Gallagher
    Posted July 22, 2017 at 11:17 am | Permalink

    The GB are only feeding the piranhas at the smsm. Stop the political & terrorist aim and the smsm & other sevconian sites will have nothing (not an iota) of garbage to write about us (The Celtic Family)HH

  7. Dave J
    Posted July 22, 2017 at 11:21 am | Permalink

    In the past we didn’t need the GB. we rocked. The embarrassment is that we allow one group to be the identity it can’t go on and everyone’s entitled to their opinion but I fur one advise Lawell against allowing them to grow. I hate saying I told you so they are ideologists who put Sands and Michael Collins on the same podium. They would have cut each other’s throats. I am from Irish stock , my shrank was portrayed in “Rebellion”. My family get it but I see no reason to bring Shane to my club promoting a warped version of republicanism. Our day will come. Let us Hope the GB’s has come and gone and that the remaining 80% take Oaradise back.

  8. Gerry Mick
    Posted July 22, 2017 at 11:22 am | Permalink

    I agree 100% with Althetim. Don’t give the enemies of Celtic any excuses.

  9. Tom
    Posted July 22, 2017 at 11:38 am | Permalink

    Well said son

  10. John Docherty
    Posted July 22, 2017 at 11:40 am | Permalink

    Why are Celtic PLC always silent on the sectarian, verbal and physical abuse our own players and supporters but are are always flying out the traps to have a go at our own supporters? Time Celtic acted in their defence rather than always prosecuting them.

  11. Liam Gorman
    Posted July 22, 2017 at 11:56 am | Permalink

    Phil f

    You have done what so many do. . . Point to what others are doing.

    What D Potter has said is that we need to do x,y and z.

    Obeying h and safety laws is essential or the standing area will close. End of.

    Ditto our c lge games.

    Attacking in the way you have is crazy.

    The GB are not bigger than Celtic. . . We did fine before them and would again.

  12. Borobhoy
    Posted July 22, 2017 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

    Excellent article, couldn’t agree more. I love the noise and passion of the Green Brigade but I think they really need to get the message that pyrotechnics are dangerous and political banners, whether you agree with the sentiments or not, only get us fined. This needs to stop before UEFA close all or part of Celtic Park, which none of us want.

  13. EKTim
    Posted July 22, 2017 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

    100% with Althetim also! Paul Johnston you are out of order and in the wrong century! There is no need for any Rebel songs at Celtic Park (or any other football ground) on any occasion. The GB thought it would be clever to GIRU the Linfield fans. They’d have been better off highlighting more than a decade of SFA collusion and conspiracy with Rangers (IL). That would unite 100% of Celtic fans. What they have achieved is another huge split. The split is the GB fault. No one else.

  14. Ian Latta
    Posted July 22, 2017 at 4:31 pm | Permalink

    I agree wholeheartedly with everything you said we need to be smarter than our detractors the green brigade are not bigger than the club and don’t speak for me or the majority of the Celtic supporters I know they seem to think they know more about what Celtic are, they should remember we are a club open to all

  15. Puablo
    Posted July 22, 2017 at 6:07 pm | Permalink

    Celtic park has been and will always be a place where when you enter it as a kid to a grown man the hairs on the back of your neck tingle with both the anticipation and excitement of seeing your Heroes play in the HOOPS against the most lowly of clubs to the best in the world . If you are truly a Celtic Fan you would Never deliberately attempt to Embarrass the club or yourself by what we have seen in recent years . Is it not possible for you to be the most talked about support in the world of football because of the atmosphere you bring to every home match or of course is it not enough for the group’s decision takers that the they need and indeed Seek the Notoriety so they can feel a bit more smug about themselves at their next meeting . If thats not the case then why do you continually Embarrass our club , YES OUR CLUB , From behind a Mask , a Cloud of Smoke or a Banner .
    If you are true to yourself and believe in everything you do then stop Hiding behind others who only want to support their club and stand alone with your banner and sing some of your outdated songs and let everyone see who stands with you.
    If you want to talk politics go and find Tommy Sheridan he’s not busy these days I.m sure he’d enjoy the Craic .

    Celtic FC has been here a long time and it,’ll be here long after you’ve been forgotten about so why not SUPPORT YOUR TEAM because thats what Real Celtic Fans do.

  16. William wallace
    Posted July 22, 2017 at 6:59 pm | Permalink

    Are with all you said apart from putting up with a little smoke, me and my son sit in 115 near the green brigade and every time a flare is let off i need to removed him due to him suffering chronic long disease, why should we suffer when i spend my money on my season ticket and all other matches ticket

  17. Michael Mullin
    Posted July 22, 2017 at 7:07 pm | Permalink

    As much as I love the atmosphere and energy they bring, times have changed. The use of banners relating back to a horrible time in Irish history should be condemned and stopped. I know they were probably used to noise up that mob on Wednesday but surely they knew there would be a negative reaction that had the media desperate to show off the next day in the papers and media. Why do we give them the ammunition to fire the gun?
    The songs were sung by me and thousands of others in the 80s and I loved it. Now I believe it’s not right. If you want to, sing them in the privacy of your own home.

    It now would appear that we are being highlighted now for the misbehaving rather than the performance of the best squad we have has on years.

    The board should be more vocal on the title stripping and perhaps then peace could break out.

    We’re all the same side after all.

  18. AD
    Posted July 22, 2017 at 7:39 pm | Permalink

    First off The Green Brigade are absolutely fantastic, they’ve managed to bring back the atmosphere to matches that somewhere along the way has stopped being created naturally.

    Secondly, political opinion no matter if that opinion is correct, everyone has the right to one, however UEFA have asked that it’s members do not use Football matches as a platform. As Celtic are a UEFA member we get punished whenever these regulations are flouted… so why harm your own club? I do feel the ban is harsh but at the same, Celtic have incurred numerous fines from UEFA recently, we’ve gone from gaining awards in 2003 to now being hit with fines for every little thing, we can’t even get yellow cards rescinded for OTHER supporters trying to chib our players with buckie bottles! Trying to fight back with inflammatory banners or actions isn’t going to work, the years it’s been tried over have proven this, for instance the F*** Uefa one, how the hell did anyone think any good would come from that?!?

    The show of support for Palestine got a huge amount of coverage and goodwill, but it wasn’t the platform and again Celtic were fined by the governing body. There are ways to make these statements away from football without damaging the club.

    As far as the sectarian stuff goes… just leave that to the idiot section of the zombies.. let them be seen in the poor light. In a footballing sense they are about to implode again.. we’ve distanced ourselves from them on the pitch by light years, we should also distance ourselves from anything else that allows the media and onlookers to keep using the O*d F*rm tag.

    Our ability to compete in European competition is constantly under threat, the richer leagues are trying force the smaller nations out, if we continually break their regulations it could help give them perceived justification to push this through.

    Please just support the team during matches.

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