WHILE we’re used to writers showing off their wit and creativity, this weekend some of the UK’s most beloved authors will putting their fancy footwork on display at a football friendly in Stirling.
Famous faces Ian Rankin and Mark Billingham will be donning footie strips and captaining the Scotland and England teams at the match as part of the Bloody Scotland crime writing festival.
Craig Robertson, crime writer and Bloody Scotland board member, said the Scottish side are gunning for a win after the England team won the cup last year.
He said: “This is the fourth year of the Scotland-England match and with one win apiece and one draw, there is clearly much bragging rights to play for as well as The Bloody Cup.
“The English mob have not shut up about their win in 2016 and it’s time to send them homewards to think again.”
The Scotland team will be captained by Ian Rankin and includes crime writers Craig Robertson, Doug Johnstone, Martin Stewart, Peter Mackay, Lloyd Otis, Thomas Enger and publishing types Jamie Crawford, Danny Scott and Neil Macpherson, husband of Catriona Macpherson.
The England team will be captained by Mark Billingham and also boasts crime writers Luca Veste, Howard Linskey, Vincent Holland-Keen, Rob Scragg, Matt Wesolowski, editor Emad Akhtar, agent Phil Patterson and podcast producer Paul Hirons.
Craig added: “Tensions have been growing and it’s safe to say it’s all threatening to kick off. “Some of the English crime writers have clearly lost the plot, if they ever had one in the first place.
“They’re about to find out there’s a twist they just didn’t see coming.”
This year’s Bloody Scotland will include a torchlight procession on the opening night led by Ian Rankin and Val McDermid, and locals are encouraged to join in.
Tickets for the procession must be purchased in advance – £5 per adult or £4 for Stirling residents. One adult ticket holder allows two children to accompany the torchlight holder.
The match takes places at 2pm on Saturday 9 September at Cowane’s Hospital Grounds by Stirling Castle.
The event is free and will feature a pop up bar courtesy of Stirling Gin serving Bloody Scotland cocktails