The Glasgow Series are back! Two Mondays every month there will (hopefully) be a new interview out, and this time I’ve had the chance to talk to Lindsay Hamilton, a team mate of mine in United Glasgow. Lindsay is a devoted Celtic supporter and a writer, with a lot of strings to her bow. She was one of the founding members of Proud Huddle CSC, which is the first and only LGBTQI+ Celtic Football Club supporters group, and is also in the progress of launching her own football tour business. In this first interview we’ll talk about her relationship to football and in the second interview, coming out on Thursday 17/5 we’ll dig deeper into her work with Proud Huddle.
-How did you get into football?
Lindsay: Exactly the same way as any of my male friends. There was the whole family of us, my dad, my uncle, my brother, my cousin and my auntie. I don’t remember my first game, it pains me to this day that I don’t remember it, I don’t know who they were playing, but it was brilliant and yeah, I just kept going from then.
-How old where you, more or less?
L: I think I was seven for my first game, and started to go on a regular basis when I was eight, like going every week. Because in that time it was paper tickets, old season books that we had. You just ripped a ticket out and you could give it to someone, so my dad who is a bus driver used to get the crappy shifts and missed quite a lot of games, so he just ripped his ticket out, gave it to me, then my auntie and uncle would take me to the games, and I – kid you not – I’m small now but I was really small then and they used to sit me on their lap because they didn’t want me to sit on my own, so I just sat there on their knees, just pure crushed over watching the game.
I don’t know when I got my season ticket, I would guess 14, but I actually don’t know – but I was on the waiting list for a lifetime to get an actual ticket (laugh). But bear in mind, when I just started going, Henrik Larsson was still there, we got to the UEFA cup, so everybody were going to these games. And then there was a point where Scottish football kind of plateaued a little bit, it was all when TV started taking over – this is a pure tangent – but TV came in, and all the games started changing times and all this, it just wasn’t part of a routine anymore, you had to change your whole routine about football, and it just didn’t work, so that’s when a lot of people were saying that they couldn’t keep their season ticket on because they were going to miss x amount of games this season, because they’re all getting moved around for the TV, so that was my chance to scoop in.
-How has being a season ticket holder ‘helped’ you in your fandom, so to say? Being able to actually, physically see them week in and week out.
L: Yeah it’s just being there, innit? That’s what it’s all about. You can say you were there when Callum McGregor scored the goal against Zenit or one of the moments stuck in my head like I was there the night Nakamura scored a free kick against Manchester United, it’s just all the wee moments, I was there for that. That’s what it’s all about and that’s how you connect, it doesn’t matter what age they are, what gender they are or what sexuality they are. If you’re a Celtic fan that’s how you connect, if you’re a whatever-fan, that’s your little stories about your club, that keep everyone talking. It’s just how it works. I think that’s what it gave me, it’s just like I was there, and I was always there. People start know your face and when I wasn’t there they would be ‘where’s the wee lassie?’. That was it. They don’t know my name – I don’t know their name, but that’s not the point. I still sit in Parkhead now and the only guy I know next to me, his name’s John, and that’s it. But I know everyone else’s faces and I talk to them. I don’t know their name but I don’t need to. The whole point is that we’re there for one reason – because we want Celtic to win (laughter).
I went to Boston, came back in November, and I honestly think that United Glasgow brought me back
-How do you think that has affected your career choice, seeing as you work at the Scottish Football Museum now and working on getting your football tour business on its feet?
L: I don’t know man, because I think I’ve always loved sports, I don’t know where it came from.
-But why turn it into a career? It’s a big step from just a hobby.
L: True, I’ve never thought about that. I think that goes into another part of my family life which is that we’re very working class, but we’re not, because of my mum. She’s a grafter. She worked in an office from a young age and worked her way up, it’s a pure rags to riches story – she’s now manager of that department. That woman is my aim in life. I do want to make money for myself but I couldn’t just work for money and I think that’s where sport comes into it. The businesses that I’m trying to do now, it’s not about the money. Don’t get me wrong, it’s definitely a benefit, but I’m doing it because it’s something I enjoy. I’m not doing anything in this life, unless I enjoy it. It’s gonna be short and sweet, that’s how life is, I won’t be doing something that I don’t like.
Then I went to Boston, came back in November, and I honestly think that United Glasgow brought me back, and that’s really fucked up when I think about it. I did enjoy the job I was doing in Boston and I didn’t, because I was coaching, which is always fun, it was good, but the hours I was doing was ridiculous. I’m not lazy, I don’t mind working, but for the amount of money I got from it, for those hours … I was like ‘you know what, great experience for four months but I’m going home!’. So there was definitely that part of it as well, I was always coming home, but United Glasgow gave me something to come home to. That’s the honest to God truth, and I had never even been to the club before!
I went to the drop in on Monday night, after not having played football for four years, and I just thought ‘fuck, this feels so good’ and it was instant, I just caught a bug.
-Do you follow any women’s football?
L: I don’t. It’s something that I really should try. I do feel bad. I watched the first half of the Scotland game [against Switzerland], then I had to go to training, it was pretty brutal and they lost. But it wasn’t the best performance either. I don’t watch it as much because the women’s game just gets the worst time for things. See if they’re abroad, I can be in the office sometimes for those games at like noon, how’s anyone supposed to support that? But I’ll consciously go and check the results and I check who gets into the various teams as well because I used to coach for Celtic as well in the women’s team and some of the youngsters I used to coach are now playing in the U19’s and I’m mind blown!