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Letter From America: How I Became A Celtic Fan

introducing our new writer

Celtic v Aberdeen - William Hill Scottish Cup Final
The Celtic Huddle
Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Our new American Correspondent Andrew Doran begins his ‘Letter From America’ column with the tale of how he came to support Celtic.

My start to Celtic fandom started before I knew what sports were. I was born in Denver, Colorado to an American mother and a Glaswegian father. Of course, growing up in the United States, football was not part of everyday life. I started kicking around the football at the urging of my dad. He wanted to me to enjoy the beautiful game like him, even if it was not a big presence in the United States at that point.

My Dad was the one who really pushed me to Celtic. He was alive for the Lisbon Lions and would tell me stories about listening to the 1967 European Cup Final on the radio. He went to Paradise with his brothers and would stand in the jungle for Old Firm matches. He has always been a proud supporter, always reminding me that Celtic were the team that allowed all to play, no matter their religion or ethnicity. Celtic was a club for all and what was something I could get behind.

The Lisbon Lions celebrate winning the European Cup at Celtic Park

It was hard to follow Celtic in the late 1990s and early 2000s. There was no internet streaming, no newspaper report, and no TV channel to watch the Hoops. When Celtic started to finally make the Champions League on a regular basis, Dad and I would watch religiously since it was the only time Celtic were on TV in the USA. One of my first main memories of watching Celtic was watching Nakamura curling the ball into the top corner of the net on free kick against Manchester United in the Champions League. At that moment, I became hooked and dove head first into becoming a die-hard Celt. I made my (and so far, only) pilgrimage to Paradise in 2007 and I started to care more about Celtic than I did about American football, baseball, and basketball.

Shunsuke Nakamura scoring his legendary free-kick against Manchester United in 2007

Now of course, it’s a lot easier to see Celtic FC here in the United States. I watch every game on Celtic TV, or on cable for the Champions League. I can follow different blogs, Twitter, and Facebook posts to get an idea of what supporters around the world are thinking. Which bring me to this blog, “The Jersey Doesn’t Shrink”. I’ve always been bothered that Celtic FC has never had a platform on SB Nation and Rangers did. I’m glad to be a part of this new journey and hope to bring insight on what our Bhoys are going to be doing as well as giving you an idea on how we see things here in the United States. We’ll never walk alone on this journey and I’m excited to get started.