The Boston No.1 started in 1996 and now has about 20 members. I caught up with Scott Hurley, who deals with all things social media for the club, to have a chat about the Supporters Club and what Celtic means to him.
Just like Glasgow, Boston is a ‘City of Champions’, hosting its fair share of victory parades for their NBA, NHL, NFL and MLB heroes the Boston Celtics, Boston Bruins, New England Patriots and, of course, the Boston Red Sox. If you happen to find yourself in the city at just the right time in mid-to-late October, you could be caught up in an all-day session after watching Celtic early in the morning before following it up with coverage of all of these local champions.
Although, as yet, the club has been unable to organise a trip to Glasgow to watch the famous green-and-white hoops play, they have taken advantage of Celtic’s pre-season tours to the United States in recent years, including a trip to Philadelphia to watch Neil Lennon’s side play Real Madrid. Their most memorable match, however, took place in 2010 as Celtic played Sporting Lisbon at the home of Boston baseball – Fenway Park – when ‘The Green Monster’ was never more aptly named for an occasion. On that trip to Boston, Neil Lennon popped into meet the members of the Boston No.1 CSC at the Banshee along with new signing Joe Ledley.
The club has also welcomed Kevin Bridges a number of times and has become a bit of a cult choice for the great and the good. In 2016, with Celtic two goals down to Motherwell at half-time, Kevin popped in to watch the rest of the match, which Celtic won 4-3 thanks to a list-minute winner from Tom Rogic. Kevin has been back in since and brought some gifts for members as a thanks for the club’s hospitality.
Scott Hurley’s affinity with Celtic doesn’t follow the normal generational ties back to Scotland, instead he found his love of the club through a group of friends in Boston. His good friend Jason has family in Glasgow and, after he made a trip to visit Scotland in the mid 90s, he brought back stories and songs from Celtic Park and Scott was hooked. Those anthems and ballads switched a light on to a world that was happening over 3000 miles away.
He started making the trip to the local CSC to watch the match in the small hours of the morning and was amazed at the numbers turning up to do the same. Before the wall-to-wall coverage on the internet, he would follow the club’s fortunes in the sports sections of the Boston papers, then it was a subscription to Celtic Audio and now it’s every match at the Banshee.
In 2011, Scott made the trip to Scotland for a few Celtic matches and was lucky enough to be there when Dylan McGeouch scored his solo effort against St Mirren at Celtic Park. During his visit, Scott also squeezed in a trip to the Barrowlands to see the Wolfe Tones.
Scott returned to Glasgow again for the 125th anniversary of the club and was there to celebrate the mass at St Mary’s in the Calton, as well as the memorable night at Celtic Park when the underdogs secured an incredible victory over Barcelona (Scott’s attendance was made possible thanks to CSC President Billy Ramsay, who secured a ticket for him). Scott thinks of Celtic as extended family; he never feels like a stranger in Glasgow when it comes to Celtic, and he has met some fantastic people along the way.
So, if you are in Boston and are looking for a place to watch the Celtic game, head along to The Banshee, 934 Dorchester Avenue, Dorchester, Ma, where, for $5 you can join the rest of the Boston No1. CSC for a pre-match build-up with all the usual Celtic anthems in the background (and YouTube playlists from The Wakes with some Gerry Cinnamon thrown in too). The CSC shows all domestic Celtic matches home and away, and covers those big European nights too. Memberships can be picked up at the start if the season, you can maybe even pick up the CSC scarf.
Social media and online:
– Banshee: https://bansheeboston.com/home/
– CSC: bostonbhoys.net
– Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/bostoncsc
– Twitter: @BostonBhoys
Martin DonaldsonListen to the award-winning A Celtic State of Mind podcast