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The Shamrock - Birth of The Fanzine
While most supports caught the fanzine bug in the late 80s and early 90s the Celtic support were in on the act decades earlier.
With an inherent suspicion of authority Hoops fans have never been afraid to voice their opinion. When it comes to the politics of their club, pacifism has never been an option. It’s unsurprising then that Celtic supporters were ahead of their time in embracing fanzine culture.
The Shamrock was produced by the Shamrock (Edinburgh) CSC in the early 60s as a reaction to the club’s continued failure on the pitch and the apparent mismanagement of Robert Kelly and the board. It was fiercely critical of the board and only too happy to display its support for the ongoing struggle of Irish nationalism.
With the welcome appointment of Jock Stein, The Shamrock was put on hold, never to reappear again. While its impact and influence at the time was minimal The Shamrock give birth to a concept which would in time become an integral part of Celtic fan culture.
Publications like Not The View, Once A Tim and others would add a touch of humour to the ingredients but essentially, as The Shamrock intended, they gave a voice to average supporter on the terracing and they were no doubt influential in encouraging the groundswell of support against the Kelly/White regime.
The new wave of websites like E-Tims, Celtic Underground, Keep The Faith and Celtic Quick News has brought the fanzine into the internet age. When you also consider message boards such as Kerrydale Street, Celtic Minded and the Huddleboard it s fair to say the Celtic support has never had so many opportunities to voice their views.
The fanzines and fan-run websites are not unique to Celtic but you’d be hard pressed to find a support which has embraced this culture so emphatically. I mean can you imagine surviving the last 20-years as a Celtic supporter without the hope provided by the fanzines or without the chance to rant on KDS? Thought not!
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