ONE of Britain’s leading football writers will be sharing his love of the game with fans at a free event in Galashiels next month.

Yorkshireman Daniel Gray will be bringing his unique blend of humour and sporting observation to the Fairydean Rovers clubrooms on November 14 as part of the Book Week Scotland 2023 programme at an event entitled ‘Concrete Dreams’, celebrating the Listed stand at Netherdale.

READ MORE: Diversions announced for overnight closure of A702

Gray is the author of a number of critically acclaimed books including Stramash: Tackling Scotland’s Towns and Teams and Saturday 3PM. He also hosts the cult ‘When Saturday Comes’ podcast and edits the Scottish football periodical ‘Nutmeg’.

Daniel’s latest work The Silence of the Stands – recently longlisted for the prestigious William Hill Prize – sees him explore the impact of COVID restrictions on the game and the fans who bring it to life, including a visit to Netherdale during an easing of lockdown.

READ MORE: Where to celebrate Scottish Tree Festival in the Borders

The author has a long-running love affair with the club, having first visited in 2015 and later being invited to officially open a new seating area in 2021 after the purchase of seats from his childhood club York City’s condemned Bootham Crescent stadium.

Mr Gray said: "When I saw Netherdale, it was love at first sight as it’s just such a beautiful and unique venue to watch football and I’ve had so many good afternoons and evenings at the club since then.

READ MORE: Drivers warned that low temperatures expected in Borders

When I visited as a journalist to cover a game during COVID restrictions I was amazed to see a man who had brought a ladder so he could see over the fence to cheer on the team.

"I write about him in the book and really hope he can come along on the night so I can present him with a specially signed copy for services to football.

"Book Week Scotland uses literature to bring people together and celebrate community and I’m delighted to have been invited down to share another evening with the good folk of Galashiels who always go out of their way to make my family and I so welcome when we visit.

READ MORE: Borderer to read history and politics at Cambridge’s Homerton College

Every year hundreds of football fans and architecture students make their pilgrimage to the stand and I hope we will be able to capture the essence of this wonderful theatre of concrete dreams on November 14."

Book Week Scotland, now in its 12th year, is an annual celebration of books and reading that takes place across the country in November. People of all ages and walks of life come together to share the joy of reading.

Daniel will be joined at the event by Galashiels man and Scottish Book Trust New Writer Award winner 2023 Craig Aitchison, who will read some of his poems inspired by the years he has spent watching and coaching football at Netherdale.

The event is being organised by football equalities charity Nil by Mouth and Gala Fairydean Rovers Community Trust and starts at 7pm. Light refreshments will be provided.