Selkirk FC’s poet in residence pens first novel about the struggle of the average player

Thoms Clark, Selkirk FC's poet in residence.
Thoms Clark, Selkirk FC's poet in residence.

Selkirk FC may be riding high at the top end of the Lowland League this season, but the Yarrow Park men have their sights set on another table altogether – the bestsellers list.

The club is set this Saturday to publish a novel promising a behind-the-scenes glance into life at a football club.

‘Your Pal Andy’ – written by Scottish football’s first ever poet-in-residence, Thomas Clark – follows the comic misadventures of former Selkirk FC midfielder Andy Fairbairn as he struggles to make the breakthrough into the big time. Packed full of hilarious glimpses into the world of the struggling footballer, the book is already being described as ‘the funniest novel ever written about Scottish football’ and will be available at local booskshops and from Amazon.

A ex-player himself with teams ranging from Hamilton to Hawick Royal Albert, Thomas was appointed poet-in-residence at Selkirk FC in 2015.

He said: “Folk are always talking about how easy footballers have it nowadays, but that’s far from the reality for most people in the professional game.

For most players, professional football is a constant struggle to find a club who’ll take you on, to keep your head above water financially and, most of all, to elbow your way into the first team. I wanted to write a book that was true to that side of the game – the struggle players face if they’re not a Messi or a Ronaldo – but, at the same time, I wanted it to face that struggle with the characteristic good humour of the Scottish football fan.

“I’m hugely grateful to Selkirk FC for giving me the opportunity to write ‘Your Pal Andy’ and I hope it gives readers a chuckle or two.”

Selkirk FC coach Ian Fergus said: “We are hugely fortunate to be home to Scottish football’s first ever poet-in-residence and we are delighted about the publication of Thomas’ first novel – hopefully the first of many.”