Let’s hope we get to see this in 111 next season

Upon learning that the Green Brigade will refuse to renew their season tickets if a Newco are allowed in the SPL, I was shocked and to be quite honest, let down.

The Green Brigade are the hub of the Celtic fans atmosphere. Young kids want to huddle to the drums and the older generations tip their hats in respect in bringing back an atmosphere which has made Celtic Park an intimidating fortress once again. I don’t mean to blow smoke up their arse, but they are , without doubt, the best support group in the UK. I was always one to stick up for the lads from 111 for one reason. No matter what they had done, protesting the poppy or displaying a clear “Fuck Uefa” banner away in Udinese, I had utmost respect for them because no matter if we were winning leagues under Strachan or losing them under Mowbray , the Green Brigade were there to cheer the Bhoys on. To be honest, they brought back a pride about Celtic. They stood tall on behalf of the club no matter where we be which is epitomised by one song.
“We are Celtic supporters faithful through & through, over & over, we will follow you”
There have been 3 incidents where I have found myself going home and telling everyone about how incredible the Green Brigade were.
First case was when a fan collapsed at a home game to Hearts last season, the silence from the Green Brigade followed by an emotional YNWA 10 mins later was excellent.
Secondly. I can’t remember who it was Celtic were playing but section 111 decided to protest against heavy policing and plans to kick the Green Brigade out of Celtic Park. The first 20 mins of the match were silent. You could hear a pin drop. Then, bang on 20mins the Green Brigade burst into life. So incredible was the explosion of noise the opposition keeper just about defecated on the pitch.
The third case was last year at Ibrox. The occasion was ‘that Samaras game’ . The Green Brigade had led Celtic fans in songs all day and as the final whistle was approaching and Ledley was time wasting in the corner, you could here the song I previously mentioned being cannoned out of the lungs of the Celtic fans. Never have I been more proud to be a Celt. My first Ibrox trip and that feeling of unity and community was overwhelming.
That is probably why I feel so let down by the Green Brigade. If you were to ask me what the 5 most important things to happen to Celtic were since our centenary season in ’88 were my reply would be this – Tommy Burns, Fergus McCann, Marin O’Neill , the Green Brigade and Neil Lennon.
The Green Brigade are an iconic symbol of the Celtic support and probably without realising it, they are the most influential fans.
To refuse to support your club is pathetic. To refuse to support your club because of something that is happening at Rangers is even more pathetic. The Green Brigade have a duty to carry out. They were the ones who took on this role of being the core of the Celtic support and they need to be the ones who continue that . There is a generation of youngsters who see the Green Brigade as idols. They dream of being in the section and as soon as there is empty seats in the surrounding sections, they move over to get closer to them. The Green Brigade need to keep supporting Celtic. They are part of the clubs culture now and they can’t walk away from that.
Just like everyone else, when I apply for my season ticket I’ll be making sure it is as close to 111 as possible. Let’s just hope the Green Brigade are still there come next season. Celtic need them, Lennon needs them, and us the fans need them. What happens across the road is out of our hands. By all means boycott a Newco or protest till you get your way. But one thing that I will not stand for is refusal to support your club. You are a Celtic supporter faithful through and through and that is what you must remain. It is early days and they have only released a small statement. As Neil Lennon said , the Green Brigade have dragged us out of the mud. Why drag us back through it?
Hopefully the lads of 111 will reconsider and stay.
Don’t cut off your nose to spite your face.

By Simon Bienkowski
Follow Simon on Twitter – @simonbien
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