Why is Rod Stewart a Celtic fan? 70s rockstar’s Scotland support explained
Rod Stewart has been a Celtic fan for nearly 50 years - but how did his fascination with the Glasgow team start?
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There’s many mysteries surrounding Rod Stewart - like why he still wear his hair like that or his obssession with model trains - but the number one mystery surrounding the pop-rock star for many Glaswegians is around his football support - so just why does Rod Stewart support Celtic?
Rod Stewart was born in London in 1945, which would lend one to believe that the English 70s superstar would support Arsenal or one of the many other London based team - but this is not the case, as we know from many of Rod Stewarts public statements about the Glasgow team.
It’s not entirely uncommon to find Celtic supporters across the globe, with Celtic support clubs and pubs being found as far away as San Francisco and Japan, but none are more outspoken or offer such high-profile support than Rod Stewart.
Rod the Mod credits the influence of his father - Robert Stewart, a Scot from Edinburgh - for his support of the Scotland national team over the English side.
He revealed meeting with Jock Stein and other star Celtic players of the 70s was what finally convinced him to become a lifelong Celtic supporter at the age of 28.
Rod recalls the day in 1928 when Scotland beat England 5-1. His dad had gone along to Wembley Stadium, ticketless, and climbed in over the back wall, he says.
Rod Stewart spoke about his Scotland support with Talksport in December of 2021, he said:”“Yeah, to all intents and purposes I am English. I’ve never pretended I never said I was a Scotsman, so let’s get that out of the way.
“My dad was born in Leith in Edinburgh. He had a big bearing on the football that we liked. He’d always say he was a Hibs supporter. He’d always say about the players who played in those days. And he’d always talk about the Wembley wizards.
“So that sort of rubbed off on me and my brothers, and we just became Scotland supporters”
In 1973 on Celtic’s the training ground, Stewart met with Jock Stein and some Celtic players while in Glasgow for a gig with his band The Faces. It was there that the superstar became intrigued by Celtic.
Rod Stewart spoke about the meeting on TalkSport, he said:“I met Jock Stein in 1973, Kenny Dalglish, Jimmy Johnstone and Harry Hood, all knocked on my door,” he recalled.
“We just did a show with The Faces in Glasgow, and they all came to wake me and Ronnie [Wood] up to get us to go training. Ronnie didn’t get out of bed, but I went and I met Jock Stein. “He looked at me and he laughed at my shoes. And since that day, I’ve become a Celtic supporter.
“I was so enamoured by him, you know, this huge guy was just brilliant.”
The ‘Do Ya Think I’m Sexy’ and ‘Maggie May’ singer previously confirmed that he carried on his father’s tradition, and that both of his own sons are also Scotland football and rugby supporters and Celtic fans.
Asked about travelling all over the world to follow Celtic by a TalkSport host, he said: “It’s worth every penny, you know. I’m going up there and it’s a lovely day out. It’s the one thing where I spoil myself. And I get a private jet and go up to Glasgow and watch them.
“I don’t do it very often, but I just wish sometimes they played in the Championship [English]. I didn’t say the Premiership because I think we’d do well in the Championship.”
The Celtic support is a new tradition started by Rod - as his father was a Rangers fan, and even has the name of a former Rangers player, Eric Cardlow, engraved on his gravestone.
Asked about Celtic and Rangers playing in England, he said: “I personally don’t think it will ever happen in my lifetime but the thing is Scottish football would suffer you know, with great respect, nobody wants to see St. Mirren play whoever. And I mean, no disrespect.
“But they [Celtic and Rangers] are the giants. They are the ones that get the big crowds. So without them I don’t know what would happen with Scottish football so much.”
Rod Stewart has went on record to praise the atmosphere at Celtic matches - particularly Old Firm matches - claiming them to be much better than their English counterparts. Stewart also revealed his favourite Celtic player to Talksport, he said:“Jimmy Johnstone or Bertie Auld who we just lost.
“I remember Bertie saying to me after we were playing in a charity game with him and we’re getting changed, and I’d never met him really, and he said: “Rod, I want my passes crisp. I’ll always remember that.”