Irvine No1 Celtic Sports Club - Est. 1999
The Story So Far
The Story So Far PDF Print E-mail

So how did Irvine come to host the biggest and best Celtic Sports Club in Scotland? The story begins over twenty five years ago.........

In 1987 the Irvine No1 Celtic Supporters Club was established for the active Celtic supporters in Irvine and Kilwinning to travel to matches in safety and comfort. A bus, often several buses, ran to every Celtic fixture and over the years the club grew into one of the biggest in Scotland. That this should happen at a time when Rangers were completely dominating the domestic game spoke volumes about the passion and commitment of the Celtic supporters in the area. And it had one or two people thinking about what else that passion and commitment could help build.

The Fergus McCann-led takeover of Celtic in 1994, and what felt like the dawning of a new era, inspired the bhoys and ghirls of the Irvine No1 to talk about the prospect of securing their own premises in which they could meet and socialise. While established pick-up points such as The Claremont Hotel in Kilwinning and the Redburn Hotel in Irvine had served its members well, nothing could beat owning and managing their own place. With Celtic temporarily displaced to Hampden, it was a timely discussion. As Celtic Park was gradually rebuilt, the dialogue gradually gathered pace, with more and more members coming around to the fact that, in the supporters club, there lay the foundation stone for a club itself.

Celtic winning the league title in 1998, at the same time stopping Rangers from winning ten in a row, was a pivotal moment, galvanising the members to put words into actions and begin the quest. A meeting was called at the Redburn Hotel and members were asked to pledge what they could to establish the Irvine No1 Celtic Sports Club. Several meetings followed, the numbers increasing each time as Celtic supporters from all over Ayrshire got behind the plan. Months and months of hard work by many individuals came to fruition when the property housing the Senate Snooker Club became available and was subsequently taken over. Its size and location made it the perfect home.

With 411 founder members, and a first committee of Gerry Gallagher, Pat Johnstone, Kenny McCleary, Paul Martin and Jim Patrick at the helm, the club opened its doors on the 14th of January 2000. As the months passed and the club found its feet, members were encouraged to bring family, friends and colleagues along, many of whom subsequently became members. Martin O'Neill's arrival at Celtic that summer was nicely timed with the club blossoming. Special guests for the official opening night on the 24th of January 2001 included Celtic legends Stevie Chalmers and Bobby Lennox, then goalkeeper Rab Douglas and newly signed midfielder Neil Lennon as the club really began to establish itself.

Live entertainment became a permanent fixture, big events began to take place and an overall sense of confidence in the club grew. That confidence was never illustrated better than when the club audaciously chartered a plane to the UEFA Cup Final in Seville, attracting national press and televison coverage. As time went on, and the feel good factor of the O'Neill era shone through the Celtic support, more and more people in the area wanted to get on board and the membership soon swelled to almost 1000.

Over the years the hard work of its many committee members and volunteers, and the constant support of its members, has shaped the club into what many believe to be the best in Scotland. Investing a significant amount of money back into the club, and tactfully deploying the skills of some members, has seen the interior transformed from basic to a quality that would rival any private members club. A sense of pride in the club sees a warm atmosphere prevail, underpinned by a friendly and helpful bar staff.

Regarding entertainment, the club has a monthly dance with live music which is widely regarded as one of the best "nights out" in Ayrshire. Many established acts have performed to date. Occasional events such as tribute shows and comedy nights also take place and have drawn some of the finest names in the business. On the Celtic and Irish music front, the club has regular nights and over the years has played host to all of the best bands on the circuit including Adelante, The Amadans, An Spiorad, The Blarney Pilgrims, Charlie & The Bhoys, Claymore, The Druids, The Foggy Dew, Gary Og & The Exiles, The Mick Chinford Band, Mise Eire, The Players Brigade, The Quadrofenians, Shebeen, Spirit Of 67, The Wakes and even The Wolfetones. 

Celtic roadshows, quiz nights and question & answer sessions have featured heavily over the years with the latter having recently brought Neil Lennon back to the club alongside Peter Lawell. The club's showpiece event, however, is its annual Sportsmans Dinner which has attracted such football luminaries as Jim Craig, Willie Henderson, Alan Kennedy, Jim Leishman, Archie MacPherson and Billy McNeill as well as top comedians like Phil Differ and Pat Rolink. Every televised Celtic fixture is shown in the club and, of course, it remains the home of the Irvine No1 Celtic Supporters Club who spearheaded its founding.

Throughout the club's existence it has mirrored Celtic's ethos by making regular donations to a range of both local and national charities. It has also extended the hand of friendship to supporters of other teams with Ayr United, Kilmarnock, St. Mirren and even Rangers (yes, Rangers!) fans being known to enjoy a pint with members. Above all, the club has remained true to the vision of its founder members as a safe and comfortable environment in which Celtic supporters in Ayrshire can relax and enjoy themselves.

Last Updated ( Mar 11, 2016 at 10:10 AM )
News Flash

FUTURE EVENTS

Live Football This Week
Anderlecht (H)
Tue, 5th Dec 19:45
UEFA Champions League
Hibernian (A)
Sun, 10th Dec 12:30
Ladbrokes Premiership
Saturday 23rd. December -- Christmas lottery dance With Fusion and comic Eddie Devine Tickets Members £5. Non Members £8. on sale now at the club bar
Sunday 31st. December -- Hogmanay dance with Distant Sun Tickets Members £5. Non Members £10. on sale now at the club bar 

Lottery winners for November

£500   Anthony  Quirk 

£150  Barry West

£100  Stephen Docherty

Season Tickets   Michael Smith 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

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