OF all the authors attending this year’s Borders Book Festival, ex-footballer Pat Nevin will have the shortest journey home.

Raised in Easterhouse, he moved to the Borders around 20 years ago to keep the pact he made with his wife during his days entertaining the fans at the likes of Stamford Bridge and Goodison Park.

In addition to his broadcasting role, Nevin has now penned his autobiography entitled 'The Accidental Footballer' which is a different kind of football memoir.

Placed firmly in the 80s and 90s, before the advent of the Premier League, and often with racism and violence present, Pat writes with honesty, insight and wry humour.

Readers are transported vividly to Chelsea and Everton and colourfully diverted by John Peel, Morrissey and nights out at the Hacienda.

“My girlfriend Annabele Harvey, who later became my wife, is from Coldstream and we agreed that she would choose where we live after I retired from playing,” Pat told the Border Telegraph.

“Annabele’s father William Harvey was the doctor at Coldstream for years and we have a lot of relatives in the area in Birgham, Chirnside, Hutton and Melrose. I love the Borders, the countryside is great and out children went to fantastic schools here. Also the golf is brilliant and the courses aren’t too busy.

"It took me a while to get used to rural living being a Glasgow boy who also lived in London, but the kids were young when we moved here and it was the perfect place to bring them up.

“At the moment my work involves a lot of travelling. Last week I was in Lisbon and Bruge to cover Champions League games and also in London; but it’s fabulous to get back to a more sensible pace of life which is the real joy of the Borders. Within 10 minutes I’m breathing differently and more relaxed.

“I still enjoy running particularly up by the St Abbs cliffs and sometimes people will tell me that they have been running along the side of the River Thames in London but there’s no comparison.”

In addition to being a tremendous footballer, Nevin's career is often remembered for his public stance against racist behaviour by Chelsea fans against his team-mate Paul Canoville “It wasn’t the done thing at the time,” he said. “Ten thousand people singing racist songs was accepted and I couldn’t understand that. It’s nice that enough people are now talking about it and I’m actually doing a television programme with Paul who was badly affected by the abuse.

“We are still great friends but have never discussed it. Taking the knee was lovely at the start and if I was a player today I would do that but I don’t get annoyed at people who don’t. I think it’s about making a personal statement. What I never wanted was for people to take the knee who disagreed which would be a wrong virtual signal to send. But it’s not just about racism for me. It’s about equality, male/female, black/white, gay/straight. That’s the one word I would like to underline, ‘equal’. I sometimes get sectarian abuse online but I don’t believe that this is a sectarian or racist country. It’s a relatively small amount of people doing this."