FOOTBALL fans across Peeblesshire are being urged to 'pucker up’ and take part in an online campaign highlighting their love of the game and their rejection of bigotry.

The #KissBigotryGoodbye campaign has been launched by leading anti-sectarian group Nil by Mouth and will see fans post selfies or photos of themselves on social media sites with the person, place or thing that makes them love football. The campaign aims to highlight the positives of being a football fan in Scotland and honour some of the unsung heroes who drive forward the game in areas such as the Borders.

The campaign has already been supported by football writers Daniel Gray and Ron Ferguson, national fans group Supporters Direct Scotland, and Partick Thistle mascot and social media phenomenon Kingsley.

In an early contender for 'Goal of the Season’ broadcaster Annie McGuire posted a photo of herself kissing Scottish footballing institution Chick Young.

The charity was founded by teenager Cara Henderson following the brutal sectarian murder of her school friend Mark Scott in 1995 as he made his way home from a football match. His killer singled him out due to the colours of his replica shirt.

Since then the charity has campaigned against bigotry on and off the terrace and earlier this year it worked with pupils from Selkirk High School as well as becoming a community partner of Gala Fairydean Rovers and supporting the Groundhoopers UK visit to Netherdale back in March.

Nil by Mouth Campaign Director Dave Scott, who recently visited Whitestone Park, said: “Football fans often see us in the media responding to incidents that reflect badly on the game.

“So we have come up with a campaign which highlights that the vast majority of fans simply want to support their team and enjoy the beautiful game. There are many brilliant people involved in the game who run supporters buses, wash kits, drive kids to matches, coach teams free of charge and work behind the scenes at our clubs.

“We all have our different teams and differing opinions, but we’re all united by this love of the game, and its eccentricities. Sometimes it’s easy to forget the joy, and forget that football isn’t always the problem - it can be part of the solution.

“The first few weeks of a new season is always an exciting time and with the national team also riding high we are hopeful that fans from clubs across all levels of the Scottish game will post their photo displaying their love of football and use the KissBigotryGoodbye hashtag.

“We will also be bringing our own 'selfie stall’ around cubs in the Borders to encourage people to take part.

“Peebles Rovers’ stand is a classic and the type of feature that makes people nostalgic for the game. When I visited it over the summer I couldn’t help but get a photo of it and even managed to sneak into the dug out to pretend I was the boss.

“So far we have seen fans posting photos taking their children to their first game, side by side with their footballing hero’s, sitting in favourite seats in the ground, celebrating a victory, and even wearing their teams’ colours on their wedding day. Our message is simple: Love Football, Banish The Bigotry.”