November 3rd 2015

Daniel Gray is one of the UK’s top football travel writers
Daniel Gray is one of the UK’s top football travel writers

Football and literary fans from across the South of Scotland will be given the chance to ‘Kiss Bigotry Goodbye’ later this month as part of Book Week Scotland.

On Saturday 28th November at 2pm author Daniel Gray brings his unique combination of football, travel writing and social history to the Borders in a special free event at Gala Fairydean Rovers Netherdale Stadium in Galashiels prior to their Lowland League Borders derby with Vale of Leithen. Fans of both clubs are being invited to attend the event which is being funded by the Scottish Book Trust in conjunction with Nil by Mouth as part of its ‘Kiss Bigotry Goodbye’ campaign.

Daniel is the author of Stramash: Tackling Scotland’s Towns and Teamsa football travelogue which takes him across 12 Scottish towns and teams during a football season. He also hosts STV Edinburgh’s People’s History Show and has written several books including Hatters, Railwaymen and Knitters: Travels Through England’s Football Provinces and Homage to Caledonia: Scotland and the Spanish Civil War, which was turned into a documentary by STV in 2009. Last month he was nominated for a prestigious Saltire Award in the Non-Fiction category for his book ‘This is Scotland’ which saw him collaborate with photographer Alan McCredie and visit places across Scotland, including, Galashiels and Carter’s Bar. During the event he will read from a number of his books and take questions from the audience about his adventures across Scottish towns and football clubs.

Book Week Scotland is a week-long celebration of books and reading and will take place from Monday 23 – Sunday 29 November 2015. During Book Week, people of all ages and walks of life will come together in libraries, schools, community venues and workplaces to share and enjoy books and reading. They will be joined in this celebration by Scotland’s authors, poets, playwrights, storytellers and illustrators to bring a packed programme of events and projects to life.

The first 50 people to arrive at the venue will also receive a free copy of the ‘Journey’’ book which have been donated by the Scottish Book Trust. There will also be chances to win specially-signed copies of Daniel’s books.

The event is the latest stage of the Kiss Bigotry Goodbye Campaign which was launched by Nil by Mouth earlier this year to remind people of the positive role football plays in our society. Already in 2015 hundreds of fans have posted online photos of their footballing loves as part of the campaign.

Daniel Gray said:

‘As an author, I’m privileged to be asked to do live events across the country . I always look forward to them and am humbled that people turn up to hear my words, but there is something extra-special about this one. It has everything I love about a good day out – a train journey, a walk around a cracking town, a match, chatting with folk I’ve never before met….and even a pie!

On top of all of that, this is for a cause I believe passionately in – Nil By Mouth’s #kissbigotrygoodbye campaign. I’ve long spoken and written and ranted about the good that football can do – it smashes barriers, unites communities and makes fellas like me hug complete strangers after a goal. What can be more uplifting than that? This campaign is a celebration of our differences, and yet everything that binds us as fans. ‘

GFR Secretary Mr G McIver Said:

‘The club are delighted to be involved with this fantastic initiative and we are confident it will prove to be a popular event. We think a Borders Derby, at Netherdale, on a Lowland League matchday is the perfect setting for Daniel Gray to read from his writings on both travel and football. A genuine love of the game at all its levels, shines through from the pages of Daniel’s books and I am sure will have a particular resonance with supporters of non-league football. The fact that the event has been organised by our community partners Nil by Mouth ensures that as well as being enjoyable and informative, the day can play a part in advertising and raising awareness about the charity’s important Kiss Bigotry Goodbye campaign.

Nil by Mouth Campaign Director Dave Scott said:

‘We are delighted that the Scottish Book Trust has agreed to get behind this event and our Kiss Bigotry Goodbye Campaign. People come from across Europe to see Netherdale stand and we have already had a number of people from across Scotland getting in touch to say they are coming along.  This will be a great event and the Trust’s funding ensures we can provide it to people in the Borders free of charge as well as provide the all-important free pies and sweets which sustain football fans during the season! Events like this show how football can be enjoyed by all.


Full details on the event can be found at: