12:15 AM 20th November 2021
Memories Of Scottish Football Legend Billy Bremner Will Link Two Cities
A £9991 grant from the National Lottery Heritage Fund to the University of Stirling will see a six-month sport heritage project focusing on the life and career of former Leeds United and Scotland international captain Billy Bremner (1942-1997), bringing his home city of Stirling and Leeds closer together through memories of the sometimes fiery midfielder.
Billy Bremner statue - photo Pimlico Badger
The proposed intergenerational and co-community project – Fae Raploch to Elland Road – will digitalise existing memorabilia and capture memories and information from the local Stirling community which will be interpreted into an online exhibition and used to create a heritage trail. The project aims to engage a range of different audiences through various partners who are supporting the project, and enable young people and volunteers to develop skills.
Fae Raploch to Elland Road will feature the Raploch area of Stirling, where Billy was born and grew up, and East Leeds, in the city where he spent almost all his club career, remembering his contribution to football and to his community. The overarching purpose of the project is to use sport heritage to support community resilience and wellbeing through connecting people of different ages both within and across the two communities.
Caroline Clark, Director for Scotland, the National Lottery Heritage Fund, said:
"This a fantastic project which brings together heritage, the wider football family, different generations and different communities in different countries. It provides training and creates an archive and heritage trail, all because of the memory and life of one hugely respected footballer.
“It is exciting to be able to help projects such as this with funds raised through the generosity of National Lottery players. Preserving local social and sporting history is important, but it is wonderful when it can be a catalyst for bringing together people from different communities and providing wellbeing and skills. Fae Raploch to Elland Road is a wonderful example of heritage being utilised to bring added benefits and skills to a community.”
Professor Richard Haynes, the project lead at the University of Stirling, said:
“We are delighted to receive support from the National Lottery for our project to remember the life of Billy Bremner. He was an inspirational player for Don Revie’s Leeds United and the Scottish national side of the 1960s and 70s. He is often voted the greatest captain for club and country by supporters.
“Bremner’s oft-repeated saying, “side before self every time”, will be echoed in this collaborative project between two communities in Raploch and Leeds, bringing generations together to explore the value of sporting heritage for community resilience inspired by one of Stirling and Scotland’s sporting legends.”
Bremner is widely regarded as one of the greatest players Scotland ever produced and the project will research, curate and connect a range of heritage initiatives focused on remembering his contribution to football.
This project will connect young people in the Raploch community with older people who knew, played with or remember Bremner as a football player. People, young and old, from a variety of different backgrounds in the Raploch community will also have an opportunity to connect with wider communities in Leeds and supporter networks, resulting in a wider range of people involved in heritage.
Young people will be given training in conducting oral history interviews and will develop investigative and interpretation skills. Oral history, terrace songs and inspirational quotes on Bremner would be used to generate new intangible heritage, which would inspire creative artworks based on the memories and songs captured by the communities.
The focus on using the name and memories of Billy Bremner as a catalyst for making connections, creating new opportunities and creative heritage, will contribute to improved wellbeing of residents by bringing people together. A new community-led online exhibition will be hosted by Stirling University. The exhibit would use the artworks to create a community-led collection of storytelling and heritage artefacts to explore the meaning of Fae Raploch to Elland Road as a story of migration, resilience and connected identities. It would also curate a wider public digital collection of artefacts and images related to Bremner from existing museum and private collections.
It will also create a digital heritage trail linked to the online exhibition using QR codes in Stirling connected to Bremner's life in the city.
Many community, supporters, and sporting groups in both Stirling and Leeds will be connected, and the Scottish Football Supporters Association and Leeds United supporters network will link into their supporter networks which are international in their reach.
A Project Officer will help catalogue the creation of a new digital archive on Billy Bremner ephemera and creative works. The two communities involved will be connected through video conferencing (Zoom), enabling the sharing of creative ideas, memories and heritage.