Gala Fairydean Rovers host author in books bonanza

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Football and travel writing fans descended on the Borders for a special event celebrating the ‘beautiful game’ and the beauty of Scotland.

Author Daniel Gray brought his unique combination of football, travel writing and social history to the area in a special free event at Netherdale hosted by Gala Fairydean Rovers.

Last month Daniel 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 including, Galashiels and Carter’s Bar.

During the event he read from a number of his books and take questions from the audience about his adventures across Scottish towns and football clubs.

The event was organised by anti-bigotry charity Nil by Mouth and supported by Book Week Scotland which ran from Monday 23 to Sunday November 29.

Lucky guests won signed copies of Daniel’s books and everyone who attended received a complimentary copy of the ‘Journeys’ book which was especially produced for Book Week.

Daniel Gray said: “This is a football club at the heart of its community, and one of those great examples of the good work football does. I was humbled by the Gala welcome and all those folk that turned up in such testing weather, and am thankful to Nil by Mouth for putting the event on. It was special for me to have a tour of the mesmerising main stand, too. I hope to be back in the future as it is one of those places and teams that gets right under your skin. I slept in my red and black scarf!”

Gala Farrydean Rovers secretary Graeme McIver said: “It was our great pleasure to welcome Daniel to the club and listen to him reading from his books on football and travel. Daniel was highly engaging, articulate and funny throughout switching seamlessly from tales about small town sporting heros such as Wee Willie Crilley, a pre-World War II footballing legend at Alloa Athletic to his entertaining take on the Scots/English Border at the Carter Bar.

“The highlight for me was hearing him read his piece on Galashiels from the book, “This is Scotland” which paints a brilliant and evocative picture of this old mill town and includes his reflections on our historic stand here at Netherdale.

“We are grateful to Dave Scott, the campaign director of our community partners Nil By Mouth, who organised the fantastic event as part of Scottish National Book Week and the charity’s Kiss Bigotry Goodbye Campaign.

“We would also like to thank Gala Rugby Club and Scott Emond in particular for the use of their facilities to host the event.”