My wife asked me the other day how often I think about football.
“Oh, about once every ten minutes,” I said.
It didn’t strike me as an excessive amount of time, but Sara could not get over it. Every ten minutes! Naturally the science is inexact, but if anything, every ten minutes is an underestimate. I don’t see myself at all as being obsessive, but to have been brought up in a certain place at a certain time (a west of Scotland council estate in the Eighties) is to have been raised in a church of questionable faiths, the primary of which is football. You can shake off your inherited religion, divest yourself of the prejudice of peers; but you can no more start at the front page of a newspaper than you can levitate from off the ground.
And, of course, I write a lot about football. I would go so far as to say that anything I write in which football does not figure feels to me like weird, fantastical sci-fi. So I’m absolutely thrilled to have been appointed poet-in-residence at Selkirk FC for the coming season.
Selkirk are a fantastic, forward-thinking club with huge ambitions and a very real commitment to doing things the right way. Not coincidentally, they’re also a great team to watch, and I’m hugely excited to be working with them.
What that will actually entail is something I’ll be discovering as I go along. Right now, the plan is to write some poems and so forth for the match programmes (I’ve already written a couple, published in today’s Scotsman) but bearing in mind what a unique opportunity this is to write about something I really love writing about, I’m sure I’ll have ideas aplenty.
In the meantime, if you’re local to the area and you haven’t been down to Yarrow Park yet, do stop by. You won’t regret it.