Category Archives: Media Appearances

10 Years of the Football Memories Project

Yes, our Football Memories Project is 10 years old.

Marking 10 years of the pioneering reminiscence programme, Christina McKelvie MSP, Minister for Older People and Equalities, announced a new initiative between NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde (NHSGGC) and Football Memories Scotland.

The Minister joined Robert Craig, Chair of the Scottish Football Museum, Henry Simmons, CEO of Alzheimer Scotland, Lucy Casot, CEO of Museums Galleries Scotland and Ann-Frances Fisher, Associate Chief Nurse with NHS GGC, to mark the 10th anniversary of Football Memories Scotland and launch this new initiative.

The partnership will include a recruitment drive to attract and train new volunteers so that they can support football reminiscence activity within a number of NHS GGC hospitals. Volunteers will be trained to support patients in hospitals who have an interest in football, including people living with dementia, by talking about teams and matches from the past and using images and tangible memorabilia from a Football Memory box to stimulate memories.

Football Memory boxes contain a range of football-related items, from old footballs and shirts, to carbolic soap and liniment oil. The items are utilised as part of reminiscence work to stimulate memories using all the senses.

A generous donation from The West of Scotland Tartan Army (WESTA) has helped to create two Football Memories Boxes and these will be presented to NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde officials by representatives from WESTA.

Based at the home of Scottish football Hampden Park, the Football Memories Project is a partnership between Alzheimer Scotland and the Scottish Football Museum. The project has received significant funding from Museums Galleries Scotland and Alzheimer Scotland in recent years.

Christina McKelvie MSP, Minister for Older People and Equalities, said: “It is wonderful to be able to use the power of our national game to help people with dementia unlock memories, and bring happiness to them, their friends and their families. The initiative delivers a range of positive benefits and has now been successfully expanded to other sports.”

“I am delighted to see this new partnership support a project which is helping to improve people’s lives and strengthen communities and I applaud Robert Craig and his team, Alzheimer Scotland and, of course, the army of volunteers involved.”

Robert Craig, Chair of the Scottish Football Museum, shared: “10 years ago, the Scottish Football Museum, Falkirk FC, Aberdeen FC and the Hibernian Historical Trust started a small but pioneering reminiscence project utilising the power of football to help people living with dementia.  The project has grown significantly from those early beginnings to include over 200 football memory groups across Scotland. It has been replicated in other countries including Brazil, the USA and the Netherlands, and has inspired similar work in other sports such as cricket, rugby, shinty, golf, speedway and baseball. This latest partnership with NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde will further widen the scope of the project to train volunteers to support reminiscence work within hospitals across Glasgow and the West.”

Henry Simmons, Chief Executive of Alzheimer Scotland, added: “Alzheimer Scotland are extremely grateful and proud for all that has been achieved by Football Memories Scotland, to help people living with dementia. Over the past 10 years the football reminiscence group network has brought football fans and their families together across the country to enjoy reminiscing about games, players and of life memories associated with Scotland’s football clubs. The ongoing generosity of our supporters is what makes our vital work possible and has given us the opportunity to provide a funding contribution for this project.”

“This is one of the most successful strategic partnerships that we have and an exemplar of organisations and individuals across Scotland rising to the challenge of supporting people living with dementia through every means possible. Football is at the heart of so many of our communities and Football Memories Scotland has quickly become one of the most important social and therapeutic activities being offered to the people we support throughout Scotland.”

Lucy Casot, CEO of Museums Galleries Scotland, comments: “Museums Galleries Scotland is proud to have supported the Scottish Football Museum in their work with people living with dementia from the very beginning. From awarding funding towards the original one year pilot project in 2009, MGS is delighted to have seen this programme develop over the past 10 years into a national scheme. Its incredible impact on those living with dementia and social isolation shows the very real effect that reminiscence and museum objects can have on health, wellbeing and communities.”

Ann-Frances Fisher, Associate Chief Nurse with NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde, said: “Football memory cards work really well in acute hospital wards and at the Glasgow Royal infirmary Dementia café and have created a great opportunity for volunteers and staff to encourage reminiscence with patients. The football memories project also allows volunteers to generate some really interesting conversations with patients that start with football but then lead onto the many different parts of patients’ lives.  They enable us to develop a more person-centred meaningful activity with the patients.”

Nominations Open for the 2019 Scottish Football Hall of Fame

Hearts and Scotland striker Steven Naismith today launched the search for nominees to be inducted into Scottish Football Hall of Fame at this year’s awards dinner.

Naismith was winner of two Player of the Year Awards at the Tynecastle club last season, winning both the players’ and the fans’ Player of the Year categories.

From Stewarton in Ayrshire, Naismith started his professional career at local club Kilmarnock, making over 100 appearances and scoring 29 goals. Named SPL Young Player of the Year in 2005-6 and 2006-7, his performances caught the attention of Rangers, who signed Naismith on Deadline Day in summer 2007. After five seasons at the Ibrox club (winning three Scottish Premier League titles, a Scottish Cup and two Scottish League Cups), he landed a dream move to English Premier League side Everton.

Naismith played for four seasons in Merseyside, recording more than 100 league appearances and became a favourite with Everton fans after scoring against Manchester City, Manchester United and Arsenal. A career highlight included a ‘perfect’ hat-trick against Chelsea becoming the only player in EPL history to score a hat-trick against Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea. Naismith’s next move was to Norwich City in January 2016.

Naismith returned to Scotland on loan from Norwich City to Hearts under the stewardship of his former Scotland manager Craig Levein. In the season past, Naismith scored 14 goals in 19 appearances. Hearts had a win rate of 63% with Naismith in the team and 15% without him.

Naismith currently has 49 senior caps for Scotland, just one away from being recognised in the Scottish FA Roll of Honour (for those with 50 caps or more).

Off the pitch, Naismith is a strong supporter of many charitable causes. He is an ambassador for Dyslexia Scotland and works with homelessness charities in Glasgow and Liverpool.

This year’s Hall of Fame inductees will be announced at a star-studded dinner at Hampden Park on Sunday 27th October in association with Hampden Conference & Events and Prestige Sodexo.

Football fans can participate by clicking here and nominate the personality of their choice. You can also post your nomination to: Scottish Football Hall of Fame, Hampden Park, Glasgow, G42 9BA. Closing date for nominations is midnight on Sunday 25th August.

The inductees are those truly great players, managers and officials who have reached the pinnacle of their profession and have made a significant contribution to Scottish football’s reputation through their skill, spirit and determination.

Tables can be secured by calling 0141 620 4040.

The Hall of Fame is a permanent feature in the Scottish Football Museum at Hampden Park.
A panel of experts from the world of football and the media will consider nominees and elect successful candidates.

Football Legend Joe Jordan launches ‘Sporting Heroes’ Cards in exciting new partnership between the Co-op and Football Memories Scotland.

Football Memories Scotland, the project of the Scottish Football Museum, are delighted to announce that the Co-op has commissioned Football Memories Scotland to create 200 packs of ‘Sporting Heroes’ cards. The cards will be used by Co-op colleagues who have been trained by Football Memories Scotland to deliver sport reminiscence sessions across the UK, in care homes and other locations.

Football Memories Scotland was the first national sports reminiscence project launched in the world.

The project, celebrating its tenth year in 2019, started with a focus on football but has since developed into a multi-sport collaboration through Sports Heritage Scotland which has seen groups launched covering rugby, cricket, golf, shinty & speedway.

The packs will be used in reminiscence groups who aim to use memories of sport to help those living with Dementia or experiencing social isolation.

Above: The new pack which will be used in reminiscence groups.

Each card in a pack includes a profile of a sporting legend including Denis Law, Kenny Dalglish, Joe Jordan and Gordon Banks from the world of football, ex Rugby heroes Sandy Carmichael and Gavin Hastings and many more from across football, rugby, cricket, golf and speedway.

The Co-op have a long history of supporting social and community initiatives. In 2017 the Co-op funeral home in Dunfermline launched a range of ‘memory boxes’ to be used in care homes and day centres to help those living with dementia re-connect with distant memories. This how now been rolled out across the UK.

Joe Jordan is a legend of British and world football. At club level he is renowned for his time playing for Leeds United and Manchester United in England and AC Milan in Italy. At international level he was capped 52 times by Scotland and has the unique distinction of scoring in three consecutive World Cups (1974, 1978 & 1982).

Robert Craig, Chair of the Scottish Football Museum and Sports Heritage Scotand commented: “We are delighted to receive this commission from the Co-op to create 200 packs of ‘Sporting Heroes’ cards. These cards will be used across the UK by Co-op staff trained by Football Memories in how to deliver reminiscence sessions, in care homes and elsewhere.”

Paul Denton, Managing Director of Co-op Funeralcare commented: “We’re so pleased to be working with Football Memories Scotland on this extremely worthwhile initiative. Across the UK, we’re involved in thousands of community activities. From bereavement groups to coffee mornings, we’re continuously looking for new ways to support the communities we serve. These Sporting Heroes cards will be a great addition to our memory boxes and the work that we already do to support those living with dementia.’’

Sporting Heroes is a collaboration between
Football Memories Scotland and the Co-op. You can learn more at and

Scotland’s Record Goalscorer Julie Fleeting to be inducted into the Scottish Football Hall of Fame 2018

Women’s football legend Julie Fleeting will be inducted into the Scottish Football Hall of Fame, at this year’s annual dinner at Scotland’s National Stadium, Hampden Park, on Sunday 21st October.

An outstanding footballer and ambassador for women’s football in Scotland, Julie Fleeting (married name Stewart) is amongst five inductees to be honoured at this year’s glittering awards event. Four further inductees will be announced at the dinner in October.

Julie is Scotland’s most prolific goalscorer with an incredible 116 international goals in 121 caps. A leader on the pitch, Julie captained her national team Scotland for eight years.

After spending her early career at Ayr United Ladies where she was club captain, Julie left Scotland to join San Diego Spirit, becoming the first-ever Scot to play in the professional Women’s United Soccer Association league in America. During her two-season spell in California she was voted Most Valuable Player (MVP) by her teammates and received her club’s Golden Boot award.

At club level Julie is perhaps best known for her time as an integral member of the all-conquering Arsenal Ladies side (2004-12) where she recorded over 300 goals, winning the FA WSL, seven FA Women’s Premier League titles, five FA Women’s Cups, three FA Women’s Premier League Cups and the UEFA Women’s Cup in the process.

During her trophy-laden time at Arsenal, Julie received many personal accolades including an MBE in 2008 for services to women’s football.

Following nine successful seasons at Arsenal Julie returned to Scotland for spells at Kilwinning Ladies, Celtic Ladies and latterly Glasgow City with whom she lifted the Scottish Women’s Cup.

Throughout much of her career Julie maintained a full-time job as a PE Teacher having studied at the University of Edinburgh.

Julie joins women’s football pioneer Rose Reilly in the Scottish Football Hall of Fame.
Commenting on her induction, Julie Fleeting shared: “I am thrilled to learn that I will be joining the Scottish Football Hall of Fame this year. The list of great names in the Hall of Fame is incredible and it’s an honour to be joining them.”
“Women’s football in Scotland is improving year by year as demonstrated by the National Team reaching the World Cup finals next year. Hopefully the increased profile of the women’s game will inspire more women and girls to pursue the game that we all love.”

Scottish football fans from across the world nominated the players, managers and officials whom they thought should be recognised for their contribution to Scottish football. The amassed public nominations were then considered by an expert panel from football and the media, who had the difficult task of whittling them down to just five for inclusion this year.

The inductees of the Scottish Football Hall of Fame are those truly great players, managers and officials who have reached the pinnacle of their profession and have made a significant contribution to Scottish football through their skill, spirit and determination.

The tables for this year’s annual dinner on Sunday 21st October can be secured by calling 0141 620 4040 or visiting

Kirk Minister Complaint Confirms 390th Anniversary of Women’s Football in Europe

A KIRK Minister’s objection to women playing football on the Sabbath, reveals that a game in Carstairs, Scotland is the first recorded evidence of the women’s game in Europe. A church document dated Sunday 21st August 1628 condemns women and men playing football on the Sabbath was expected to be a religious day devoted to solemn reflection and worship.

Left to right: Vivian McLaren, Rose Reilly, Aileen Campbell and Karen Grunwell.

To mark the historic 390th anniversary, Aileen Campbell, MSP for Clydesdale, whose constituency includes Carstairs, Scottish Women’s Football (SWF) Chairperson Vivienne MacLaren and World Cup winner and Scotland’s most successful female footballer Rose Reilly met in Carstairs to commemorate the date, the earliest known record of women’s football in Europe.

While the specific location of the football activity is not mentioned in the document, the Minister’s church in Carstairs is situated at the head of the Village Green with a church having stood on that site long before the seventeenth century (although the current church building dates from the eighteenth century). Historians believe it is reasonable to suggest that the Village Green was the likely focal point for the football activity in 1628.

The text from the image above reads: 1628 21 August – The same day, Mr John Lindsay, minister at Carstairs, having regretted the break of the Sabbath by the insolent behaviour of men and women in footballing, dancing and Barley Breaks, ordains every Brother (Minister) to labour to restrain the foresaid insolence and break of Sabbath, and to that effect to make intimation thereof into their several kirks next Sabbath day.

The transcript from the Presbytery of Lanark Registers – the original register is held at the National Records of Scotland in Edinburgh.

Aileen Campbell MSP, SWF Chairperson Vivienne MacLaren and Rose Reilly were joined by Karen Grunwell who is currently researching the history of women’s football in Scotland funded by the University of Stirling.  Karen, a postgraduate researcher, announced the launch of the inaugural seminar on women’s football in Scotland which will take place at Hampden Park on March 8th, 2019 to coincide with International Women’s Day.

Rose Reilly, an an inductee of the Scottish Football Hall of Fame, is widely considered to be Scotland’s most successful female footballer. Born in Kilmarnock she is best known for her time playing in Italy where she won eight Serie A titles and the World Cup with the Italian national team.

Karen is managing the seminar in collaboration with the Scottish Football Museum & Scottish Women’s Football (SWF). The seminar will bring together interested parties from across women’s football to discuss the development of the game and to share best practice. Registration details will be confirmed in due course.

 Aileen Campbell MSP expressed delight saying: “As Clydesdale’s MSP, I am thrilled that Carstairs in my constituency is the location of the first recorded Women’s football game in Europe. It is therefore fitting to be welcoming the game ‘home’ as we promote Women’s football and encourage Women and Girls to take up sport. As a football fan, I am delighted to see Women’s football continue to grow and develop. This is a sport which has an illustrious and very local history, and I congratulate everyone who has helped bring this commemoration together.”

 Vivienne MacLaren, Chairperson of Scottish Women’s Football added: “Scotland has a proud history within the women’s game and we are delighted to acknowledge that women’s football has been present in Scotland for 390 years, far longer than most people would imagine. As custodians of women’s football in Scotland we also welcome the launch of the first seminar to be held to share ideas and develop the game in Scotland.”

Robert Craig, Chair of the Scottish Football Museum also shared: “Scotland is well-known and respected for its long and pioneering history in the world of men’s football. But perhaps less well known is the rich and longstanding history of women’s football in Scotland. Women’s football is often regarded as a relatively new sport, so we are delighted to highlight this written evidence tracing its roots back to the seventeenth century.”

Karen Grunwell, Postgraduate researcher, University of Stirling spoke of her delight of the recognition: “It is fitting to announce the launch of the inaugural seminar on women’s football in Scotland on the anniversary on the first-known record of women playing the game. The seminar on March 8 will explore the rich history of women’s football and the bright future of the game here in Scotland.”

Football Memories Scotland Nominated for Prestigious Scotland’s Dementia Award

GROUND-BREAKING dementia project Football Memories Scotland has been shortlisted for the prestigious Scotland’s Dementia Awards 2018. Nominated in the ‘Most Innovative Partnership’ category, the shortlisting recognises Football Memories Scotland’s collaboration with Alzheimer Scotland to deliver vital community reminiscence work, helping people living with dementia in Scotland.

Scotland’s Dementia Awards, a partnership between Alzheimer Scotland, NHS Education for Scotland and the Scottish Social Services Council, has announced the finalists for their 7th annual Awards. The Awards programme sets out to celebrate the inspirational achievements of those making a difference for people living with dementia and their families.

If successful, this award would represent the second major accolade this year for Football Memories Scotland. In May, the Scotland-wide Football Memories Volunteer Network was recognised with the Volunteer Team of the Year Award at this year’s Museums + Heritage Awards organised by M+H Media. This UK-wide award recognises good-practice across the entire museums and heritage sector in the UK.

Headquartered at The National Stadium Hampden Park, the Football Memories Scotland project is a partnership between Alzheimer Scotland and the Scottish Football Museum, currently operating more than 200 groups across Scotland. The project started in 2009 and is the oldest national football reminiscence programme in the world.

Football Memories Scotland is a national network of reminiscence groups which aims to provide therapeutic interventions for people living with dementia. Groups meet in football clubs, community halls, libraries, sheltered housing complexes, care homes, day carecentres and hospitals, with reminiscence activities delivered in either a group format or on a one-to-one basis.

Since its conception in 2009, the Football Memories Project has produced a range of resources including packs of cards, DVDsand memory boxes, as well as a digital resource website with over 7,000 images enabling facilitators to personalise reminiscence for individuals. We have recently created a certification scheme to provide training for project volunteers and care home staff.  Alzheimer Scotland provides vital advice and support with a significant number of their staff running reminiscence groups in different parts of Scotland.

Robert CraigChair of the Scottish Football Museum and Chair of Sports Heritage Scotland, said: “We are delighted to be shortlisted for the Scotland’s Dementia Awards. It is particularly pleasing to be recognised in the ‘Most Innovative Partnership’ category as the Football Memories Project has been a pioneering collaboration between the Scottish Football Museum and Alzheimer Scotland since it first started in 2009. Together we have developed a world-leading dementia intervention project recognised internationally as a model of good-practice.”

Henry Simmons, Alzheimer Scotland’s Chief Executive, on behalf of the partners, said: “These awards are a fantastic opportunity to recognise the great achievements of projects and teams involved in dementia care and support across Scotland.”
“We are thrilled to see so many positive collaborations taking place, helping to address stigma, break down barriers and ensure that nobody faces dementia alone. We look forward to celebrating the work of all our finalists and winners on the day.”