A new website aimed at collating the biggest-ever collection of football memories has got journalists, celebrities and supporters across the UK talking about their favourite players, goals and games.
Alzheimer Scotland's Football Memories project extends an open invitation to all football-lovers to submit their top memory of the beautiful game via a website, www.footballmemories.org.uk.
The site, which has already attracted over 10,000 hits and lots of submissions since its launch earlier this month, contains contributions from leading Scottish celebrities, politicians, writers and journalists.
First Minister Alex Salmond, crime writer Ian Rankin, TV presenter Lorraine Kelly, singer Amy MacDonald and football legend Zinedine Zidane are just a few of the many to have contributed.
Says Martin Greig, who helps run the Football Memories project: “The initial response has been fantastic. As well as fans' memories, we have also had a couple of volunteers who are keen to set up Football Reminiscence groups.
“The Football Memories hashtag was even trending on Twitter last week after Arsenal footballer Jack Wilshere picked up on the project.”
Journalists across every national newspaper in Scotland have submitted their memories to the site and there is a separate section for their contributions.
Greig said: “Some journalists have chosen to reflect on a memorable moment in their careers and others have told very personal tales.
“Aberdeen Evening Express sports editor Charlie Allan's tale of Willie Mills, a Dons player from the 1930s, is a fascinating one which touches on the theme of dementia.
“Brian Marjoribanks, of the Scottish Daily Mail, tells of his hero worship of Falkirk legend Simon Stainrod – his has been one of the most popular memories on the site.
“We have also had a lot of feedback about the Express sports writer, Gary Keown's reflection on a Real Madrid versus Ajax match in 1995.”
The site is aimed at increasing awareness of the life-changing work being done in Alzheimer Scotland's Football Reminiscence groups, in which photos and memorabilia from patients' favourite clubs are used to reconnect them with their past.
The Football Memories project is a partnership between Alzheimer Scotland and BackPage Press sports publishing company, founded two years ago by former Herald journalists Greig and James Porteous, plus Neil White, ex-Sunday Times Scotland.
Added Greig: “Neil’s father, Michael White, has been a key figure in establishing the existing network of Football Reminiscence groups in Scotland. We thought it was an incredible concept and one that deserved greater exposure. From there, the idea of the website was born.”
Journalists wishing to submit a memory – or give the project coverage – should email Martin Greig: firstname.lastname@example.org