May 16 2016
West Lothian football fans took the chance to ‘Kiss Bigotry Goodbye’ as part of a new tour to highlight the positives of the ‘Beautiful Game’ across Scotland.
Nil by Mouth teamed up with Bathgate Thistle CFC as part of a ten-date tour that sees the charity visit clubs and supporters groups to help highlight the positive impact football has on communities across the country. The campaign, which has already seen hundreds of fans post pictures online using #KissBigotryGoodbye, features football quizzes, readings from acclaimed author Daniel Gray and ‘selfie-stalls’ encouraging fans to post images of what make them love the game.
Daniel Gray is the author of Stramash: Tackling Scotland’s Towns and Teams, a 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. Last year Daniel was nominated for a prestigious Saltire Award in the Non-Fiction category for his book ‘This is Scotland’. During the event read from a number of his books and take questions from the audience about his adventures across Scottish towns and football clubs. This was followed by a special football themed quiz with the chance to win signed copies of Daniel’s books.
Support from the Scottish Government has ensured these events will be free of charge and the charity hope the tour will provide fans the chance to learn more about work being done to tackle bigotry on and off the terraces. The charity has been campaigning across West Lothian in recent years, focusing heavily on schools in Livingston, Broxburn and Armadale as well as work with West Lothian Council and College.
Nil by Mouth Campaign Director Dave Scott said:
“We had a smashing time in Bathgate and it was a good opportunity to let people know more about our work and challenge any preconceptions they may have about our views on football supporters. Nil by Mouth has always believed that the vast majority of football fans are decent people and we wanted this tour to be about celebrating the ‘Beautiful Game’ and those who make it so special. Bathgate Thistle wish to put their club at the very heart of their community and use football to change lives for the better. All those involved with the club are volunteers and its very inspiring to see just how much time and effort they put into making the club tick from kids teams right the way up to the junior side. These are all the real faces and voices of Scottish football and through this tour we want to do our best to make sure they are seen and heard.”