National Football Tour Hits Dumfries

Written by on April 11, 2016

Dan Gray

Dan Gray

Football and literary fans from across Dumfries & Galloway are being given the chance to take part in a special ‘football night out’ as part of a campaign to highlight the positives of the ‘Beautiful Game’

On Wednesday 13th April at 7:30pm Palmerston Stadium will play host to cult football travel writer Daniel Gray and leading charity Nil by Mouth as they team up to host a special author and football quiz night. The event is part of a nationwide ‘Kiss Bigotry Goodbye’ tour which seeks to highlight the positive impact football makes on communities across Scotland. The event is also being supported by the Queens Trust and is free of charge with complimentary refreshments available.

‘Kiss Bigotry Goodbye’ was launched last summer by Nil by Mouth and hundreds of people have taken part in events including quiz nights, school sports competitions, penalty kick competitions and online campaigns encouraging fans to post images of what make them love the game.  Support from the Scottish Government ensured all ten dates on the tour are free of charge.

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. Daniel 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 he will read from a number of his books and take questions from the audience about his adventures across Scottish towns and football clubs including Dumfries and Queen of the South.

Nil by Mouth was set up by teenager Cara Henderson after the brutal sectarian murder of her school friend Mark Scott as he made his way home from a football match in 1995. Since then the charity has campaigned to raise awareness of sectarianism on, and off, the pitch including a hugely successful education programme which has seen them work with schools in the D&G region, most recently Gretna Primary School.

Nil by Mouth Campaign Director Dave Scott said:

“We are thrilled that the Queens Trust are getting behind this event and the club has kindly offered us use of the bar at Palmerston. The behaviour of football fans can often attract negative headlines but we know that the vast majority of fans simply want to support their team and enjoy the beautiful game. There are many brilliant people involved in the game who run supporters buses, wash kits, drive kids to matches, coach teams free of charge and work behind the scenes at our clubs. We had several female Queens fans posting photos of themselves with their iconic wooden rattles for which the club is rightly famous.

This tour is a celebration of real football people and a chance for us all to focus on how the game brings people together each week. We all have our different teams and differing opinions, but we’re all united by this love of the game, and its eccentricities. Sometimes it’s easy to forget the joy, and forget that football isn’t always the problem – it can be part of the solution. Daniel is one of the country’s leading football writers and the tour has proved very successful to date, allowing fans to focus on the positives of the game and pit their wits against each other in our specially designed football quiz.”

Daniel Gray Said:

“I often think about those times when I was in the car with my Dad, on our way home from Middlesbrough games, listening to the results on Radio Five. I loved losing myself in that, but what always stood out were these seemingly romantic, exotic team names like Queen of the South.  I finally visited Palmerston a few years back, when writing Stramash. My spine tingled from the moment I saw the ground and then all the way over the Devorgilla Bridge after the game. What a place. What a home of football. I’ve been back again, as it lifts me, that place, but this will be a superb chance to let Palmerston get under my skin again. If you can, come along – let’s celebrate this wondrous game of ours in a place where it belongs.”

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