Listen: Colin and Alan McCredie look back on their memories growing up on the football grounds of a second division St Johnstone
Meeting up for this year’s Winter Words Festival, brothers Alan and Colin McCredie join in conversation to discuss Alan’s new book ‘Snapshot: Scenes and Stories from the Heartlands of Scottish Football’.
Photographer and writer, Alan McCredie’s new book captures the atmosphere of the football games he and his brother grew up with in the lead up to the clubs ‘golden period’.
Joining Alan is his brother, Colin McCredie, famous for his role as DC Fraser in ‘Taggart’, who will be sharing his love of football, the arts and ‘the gritty, alluring essence of Scotland’s national game’.
Describing the book, Colin explained: “Our first ever match together was in nineteen-seventy-nine, at Muirton Park to see St Johnstone vs Dundee.
“And obviously in that time, we’re talking about a ground that had been built between the wars and it was coming to the end of it’s life. And there was no segregation, there were no proper toilets, people could still drink, it was the open terracing and there was bottles of not very nice stuff being thrown.
“And it was quite a big game, so as children it was quite a scary atmosphere, it was in the evening, so a lot of what appears in Alan’s book is very reminiscent of the football that we grew up when St Johnstone, in the early eighties, were at the bottom of the second division.
“So, it’s not the football of MacDiarmid Park or the football of the modern stadiums, it’s very much the older underbelly of Scottish football.”
Audience members will have the opportunity to listen into the conversation between Alan and Colin as they take a deep drive back into the ‘underbelly’ days.
The pair will also be taking questions over the interactive online format which will connect to people streaming just as they would have done in the theatre.
Colin explained: “We thought previously that we might have come to Pitlochry.
“And maybe tried to film the event in Pitlochry, but obviously with lockdown it’s not safe to make an unnecessary journey so we can just do it virtually.”
Alan’s book is described as ‘a prolonged love letter to floodlights in Ayr, ghost stadiums in Glasgow, pitch-invading oystercatchers in Grantown and all the rest.’
It’s also a collaboration between Alan and, writer, Daniel Gray who’s known for his books ‘Homage to Caledonia’ and ‘Extra Time: 50 Further Delights of Modern Football’.
Alan said: “You know, teams like Celtic and Rangers, and the bigger clubs, get huge amounts of coverage all the time.
“Both me and Dan were more interested the kind of lower leagues, the more community aspect of it, the kind of more ramshackle grounds and also even park football, kids playing on a Sunday afternoon thing.
“So, it’s a kind of look at Scottish football, but not really focusing on the larger clubs.”
Anyone who’s interested in joining Alan and Colin can find out more on: https://pitlochryfestivaltheatre.com/winter-words-festival-2021/