AN ANTHOLOGY of short stories by some of the world’s best-selling authors has been launched today, Thursday 2 July, to raise awareness of the Homeless World Cup Foundation.

Edited by Val McDermid, HOME FIXTURES brings together writers as diverse as Ian Rankin, Denise Mina, Jackie Kay and Nick Hornby. The two dozen contributions focus on football and/or homelessness and the aim is to raise funds for the Homeless World Cup Foundation.

Worldwide bestseller Lee Child says: ‘You don’t have to like football (or be homeless) to love this book – it’s an all-star squad of amazing talent, and all in a great cause, so read it now!’

The annual tournament which was due to take place in Finland this week has been cancelled due to COVID-19. A virtual event is planned for Saturday 5 July – what would have been finals day.

McDermid, who is a Homeless World Cup Board Member, and lifelong Raith Rovers supporter corralled her famous colleagues into writing the collection.

She said:

“All of us on the Board were thinking of ways to contribute to raising the profile of the organisation this year in the absence of an actual tournament. The only thing I know is books so I thought of this.

“I know a lot of writers who are also football fans or who have actively supported homeless charities, so I just asked! Several of the writers play for the Scottish Writers’ football team and others have played at the annual Bloody Scotland match. Or, like Alex Gray, they’re fans.

“People responded very quickly and generously. There’s a lot of new work here, as well as a chance to read previously published stories that are no longer easily accessible.

“Everyone involved has given their time free of charge, including the copy editor and the person who prepared the text for Kindle. I’ve been blown away by people’s response.”

Since the inception of Homeless World Cup in Graz in 2003, the tournament has shared the sometimes shocking, often tragic, but always inspirational stories of its players, coaches, referees and volunteers.

Home Fixtures is available as an eBook only for £1.99 and can be pre-ordered through Amazon from today. It will be released to Kindle on 5 July. The book can be read on any device that supports the Kindle app.

With a foreword from Homeless World Cup founder Mel Young and Introduction from Val McDermid, the anthology features short stories or poems from 24 illustrious contributors.


For further information, please contact:


Mariana Mercado

Communications Manager


+44 (0) 7469 149 170


About Homeless World Cup

Founded in 2003 by Mel Young and the late Harald Schmied, the annual event delivers an inspirational week-long street football tournament that brings together more than 500 players from over 50 countries around the world, all of whom have faced homelessness and social marginalisation. Over 1.2 million homeless people have worked with street football organisations in more than 70 countries, over the last eighteen years, using football to change their lives.


About the authors

Nick Barley – Director of the Edinburgh International Book Festival and community volunteer with Spartans FC.

Alan Bissett – novelist (Boyracers, The Incredible Adam Spark), playwright and performer.

Christopher Brookmyre – award-winning crime and sci-fi novelist (Quite Ugly One Morning, Black Widow)

Steve Cavanagh – Northern-Ireland based writer and podcaster (Two Crime Writers and a Microphone)

Thomas Clark – writer, translator and former poet-in-residence with Selkirk FC.

Linda Cracknell – Perthshire-based novelist and essayist (Call of the Undertow, Doubling Back)

Matthew Fitt – poet and member of Scotland Writers’ FC.

Alex Gray – writer (Lorimer crime series) and co-founder of Scotland’s international crime writing festival, Bloody Scotland.

Daniel Gray – writer (Black Boots and Football Pinks), editor of Nutmeg (The Scottish Football Periodical) and Middlesbrough FC supporter.

David Hackston – translator of Finnish and Nordic literature, and knitter.

Nick Hornby – bestselling author (Fever Pitch, About A Boy) and screenwriter (Brooklyn, State of the Union).

Doug Johnstone – author, drummer with the Fun Lovin’ Crime Writers and player-manager of Scottish Crime Writers’ FC.

Jackie Kay – writer (The Adoption Papers, Red Dust Road) and poet and Makar (National Poet of Scotland).

Peter Mackay – Gaelic/English writer, broadcaster and lecturer.

Denise Mina – award-winning author (Still Midnight, Conviction), playwright and presenter.

Ian Rankin – Fife-born writer, best known for his Rebus novels.

Craig Robertson – best-selling author (Random, Murderabilia) and goalie with Scotland Crime Writers’ FC.

Alan Spence – poet, playwright, novelist and current Edinburgh Makar.

Zoe Strachan – Reader in Creative Writing at University of Glasgow, former waitress at Kilmarnock FC and Rangers FC.

Joelle Taylor – award-winning poet and author (Songs My Enemy Taught Me, The Woman Who Was Not There).

Antti Tuomainen – acclaimed Finnish crime writer (Little Siberia, The Healer).

Luca Veste – writer (The Six, The Bone Keeper), bassist with Fun Lovin’ Crime Writers and podcast co-host of Two Crime Writers and a Microphone.

Louise Welsh – author (The Cutting Room, The Plague Times Trilogy) and Professor of Creative Writing at University of Glasgow.

Trevor Wood – Newcastle-based playwright, author (The Man on the Street) and former journalist.