Football fans in Selkirk are to be given the chance to ‘Kiss Bigotry Goodbye’ as part of a new tour to highlight the positives of the ‘Beautiful Game’ across Scotland.
Campaigners Nil by Mouth have teamed up with Lowland League side Selkirk FC as part of a ten-date tour that will see the charity visit clubs and supporters groups to help highlight the positive impact football has on communities across the country.
Nil by Mouth campaign director Dave Scott said: “I live in the Borders and have enjoyed watching games across the area.
“Yarrow Park is a brilliant backdrop to a match and the club have big plans for the future. They have the links with Manchester City and Garry O’Connor has played at the highest level of the game.
“Sometimes it’s easy to forget the joy, and forget that football isn’t always the problem - it can be part of the solution. We hope as many fans as possible come along and join us in Kissing Bigotry Goodbye.”
The campaign, which has already seen hundreds of fans post pictures online using #KissBigotryGoodbye, will feature football quizzes, readings from acclaimed author Daniel Gray and ‘selfie-stalls’ encouraging fans to post images of what makes them love the game.
Mr Gray said: “I spent years bypassing The Borders, speeding through on the East Coast line. What a mistake.
“About two years ago, I began to spend time in the area and fell a little bit in love with it. It’s one of the most relaxed, welcoming parts of Scotland.
“I always knew about the fine rugby union tradition in the area, but have only recently started to appreciate the footballing scene too. I am very much looking forward to Selkirk and hope folk come along for a few hours of escape and celebration.”
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 very active in the Borders over the past 12 months working with senior pupils at Selkirk High School and launching its ‘Pause B4U Post’ campaign, warning against the dangers posed by posting abuse online, at the school in October.
The event will take place at the Yarrow Park clubrooms on February 20 after the game with high flying Edinburgh City.