The sun is shining on the west of Scotland today, we are nine points clear at the top of the league with a home game ahead where a win would make the gap 12 points and allow the club to book event planners for the trophy presentation.
We are fortunate to follow a successful football club, but we are more fortunate to believe that Celtic is so much more. It is an institution with ethical standards and a social care mission as its founding principle.
Without standards adhered to by generations of supporters and without that sense that, collectively, we are about something more than football, I doubt any of us would care as much as we do. What else explains the call Celtic has on us, even when living thousands of miles from Parkhead, when we have not seen the team live for years, when we mix with friends who find your green and white merchandise perplexing.
Maintaining this call across 136 years takes hard work by impressive people. In recent weeks, I spoke to several Celtic fans like this, who have undertaken to cycle from Celtic Park to Seville next month in support of the Celtic FC Foundation, arriving in the Andalucian capital to commemorate the pilgrimage so many of us made there 20 years ago.
I recorded the meetings for a series of video podcasts, the first of which is available below. The participants shared the joy of Celtic, many of them lived far from Celtic Park, but they all regarded their roles as Celtic fans as something far more than passive. They want to live up to the spirit of Celtic – that thing you and I profess belief in. We are more than just the football, we have a social cause, a regard for those in need, and a responsibility to act.
Six years ago some of the participants completed the Road to Lisbon (started by our own Mouldy67). They booked to ride to Milan in 2020 before world events got in the way. Now the Road to Seville lies ahead, over 1,000 miles to travel through Scotland, Ireland and Spain.
What is most striking of the conversations I had, was how connected they all were to the Outcomes they hoped to achieve. It wasn’t reaching Seville, or even raising money, it was about helping the poor with a warm meal, extending sport facilities to Downs people, providing care and support to families coping with dementia.
It was humbling to listen to the work they have all put in and great to see such role models in being a better person and better Celtic fan. If like me, you have no big acts underway for what is the most important part of being a Celtic fan, we can financially support their efforts here.
You can follow them on Twitter here: @Road2Seville23 and keep in touch with the Foundation. First up is Paul Corrigan, I hope you enjoy watching and thank you for supporting their huge efforts.