Yesterday's Scottish Cup Final ended with displays of violence and aggression from fans, which reminded of the background and starting point of my debut novel, A Beautiful Game.
I started writing A Beautiful Game on the day of the Scottish Cup Final four years ago after listening to a discussion on the radio about the dramatic rise in domestic violence after a big football match. The discussion got me thinking about children across Scotland who were sitting at home waiting for their dad to come home... Were they dreading his arrival home, were they praying that his team would win, or was it possible that some of them were wishing they could be with him?
I picked up my pen and began to create my main character Robbie...
Robbie MacFarlane is a disappointment to his father. Named after the top striker of Hearts Football Club, his dad calls him their lucky mascot, but Robbie has two left feet and secretly spends his time in the world of books. His dad says books are for girls.
After the publication of the book I was contacted by NHS staff, police officers and teachers, all writing to thank me for highlighting the link between domestic violence and major football fixtures. I’m extremely aware that domestic violence is a sensitive issue but it’s a subject rarely told from the young person’s point of view and I wanted to address that. I offer no answers or advice in the book, and so I suppose my aim is to raise awareness and get people talking.
Emma Mooney is a writer of Scottish contemporary fiction and is the author of A Beautiful Game. and Wings to Fly.