After I mentioned the Overseas Season Ticket holders last week, Auldheid (an overseas supporter) pulled some thoughts together on what his relationship with our club is all about. Here it is, well worth kicking back for five minutes and reading:
“The phrase “BeCeltic” intrigued me somewhat as we all have different ideas of what that might mean. For me there is something about being a Celtic supporter that goes way beyond football. Every Celtic supporter everywhere feels it to some degree or other and every Celtic supporter demonstrates it to some degree or other according to their circumstances and their life experience.
You meet a stranger in a pub and if he is a fellow Tim he is no longer a stranger. If he is a fellow CQNer he was already your pal even though you had never met before. This feeling of belonging to something greater than self… it ranges from a distant almost spiritual connection to the club and what it stands for, to attendance with fellow supporters at every game the team plays, home and away.
I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to BeCeltic (as I saw it) last season when I signed up for an Overseas Season Ticket. You can read more about the genesis (and CQN’s part in it) here on Celtic Underground.
The concept on which the OST is based for me anyway reflects the Celtic ethos which manifests itself in the way we support not only the team but each other both in the official charitable work carried out by the Celtic Foundation and as everyday supporters doing mad stuff like a huddle on top of Ben Nevis for heavens sake!!! In support of our own deserving causes, like the Kano Foundation, which is but just one great example of the caring heart of the support.
The impact such work can have on people’s lives can never be fully appreciated until you meet someone, as I did whilst sitting outside a pub in Spain, overwhelmed by the difference it made to their wellbeing.
Buying an Overseas Season Ticket was almost an act of faith in that I did not know if I had internet connectivity at my Spanish destination to watch Celtic TV. Initially I did not, but “God works” etc and a charitable neighbour gave me WiFi access that enabled me to watch ALL games home and away on TV, via connecting HDMI cable to the laptop, from the comfort of my flat overlooking the beach. (Hence the term life is a beach).
Even better, I had the option of watching games not televised by Sky or ESPN in local bars via WiFi on my mobile phone if the wife dragged me out for lunch in game time. (Bad stuff happens to good guys too you know).
Not all performances were great but both 4-3 victories over Aberdeen and Dundee Utd in the Scottish Cup were truly memorable. Luckily I returned home in time to attend the title winning game v ICT using one of my 4 OST match day tickets, which this season has become FIVE along with a £50 price reduction.
I was also very pleased to get a letter from the Celtic Foundation saying that my seat had been used in my absence by local organisations and as a Calton man I was delighted to see folk from organisations in my old stomping ground amongst the beneficiaries.
Personally I see last season’s OST initiative as simply another indication, along with the recent appointment of a Supporter Liaison and Service Officer, that progress is being made in an ongoing process of bringing the Celtic support even closer together using the wonderful communication tools we now have. I find that something to be excited about as a force for spreading good in a world where ethics (which is derived from ethos) seem to have been forgotten.
But lofty thoughts apart J : At a very practical level the OST is a very good value for money way, especially at £250 for a Season Ticket with the ability to view all games on Celtic TV and attend up to five games when at home, given due notice, of not only being a Celtic supporter but of sharing the load of supporting Celtic across the full spectrum of the support wherever we are. From the Auldheids with grey or no hair to the younger gentlemen with too much and the Celtic ladies of all ages whom I find are even more passionate in their support (if you met my sister you would know what I mean).
So I have already renewed and if you are fortunate enough to be able to afford as well as able to make full or partial use of an OST, I would encourage you to do so via BeCeltic overseas season ticket.”
With fans like Auldheid, we’re in good hands. Trying hard to insist I’m not worried about preseason games……
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