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Jose Mourinho is ‘The Special One’, Jurgen Klopp ‘The Normal One’ and Northern Scot joint content editor is ‘The Anxious One’ as debut book about mental health and football goes on sale to support Mikeysline and Moray Mental Health FC


By Jonny Clark

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JOSE Mourinho is ‘The Special One’, Jurgen Klopp is ‘The Normal One’ and Northern Scot joint content editor Chris Saunderson is ‘The Anxious One’.

Having some with squeezy stress footballs ahead of the launch.
Having some with squeezy stress footballs ahead of the launch.

Chris (55), who has been a journalist in Moray for 30 years, has written his first book about football and mental health.

‘You think it’s all over? F**k That. Stay in the Game’ is a journey through some of the funny and memorable moments over the last 50 years as a supporter of ‘The Beautiful Game’.

And Chris also reveals his own struggles with anxiety, depression and suicidal thoughts, and some of the things he does to try and keep them out of the his ‘matchday squad’.

The book is full of anecdotes from his years of devotion to Queen of the South FC, including a great day at Hampden in the semi-final of the Scottish Cup against Aberdeen, the legend that is former Rangers, Hibs, St Johnstone, Blackpool, Swansea City, Crystal Palace and Queens legend Stephen Dobbie, to David Narey’s famous ‘toe-poke’ with Scotland at the World Cup in 1982 and Archie Gemmill’s wonderful goal at Argentina ‘78.

He also explores the issue of mental health in football through his own experiences and reveals the mental health goals that help him deal with life’s challenges and the red cards that make life a real ballache.

The debut novel of Chris Saunderson, a journalist in Moray for 30 years.
The debut novel of Chris Saunderson, a journalist in Moray for 30 years.

The book offers hope and support to football fans and others struggling with their mental health, and the message is to ‘Stay in the Game’.

With 25 per cent of profits from his debut book to be shared between Highlands and Moray suicide prevention charity Mikeysline and Moray Mental Health Football Club – a football family set up by three mates who lost a close friend to suicide – sales of the book will benefit two organisations supporting people in an emotional crisis and helping to save lives.

“I started writing just to help myself when I was going through a difficult period and then it really started to mushroom and before I knew it there were 30,000 words on the page, with photos too,” he said.

“I talk very openly about my own mental health and how football continues to help me. It is also laced with humour as life can be too serious at times and laughter is the best way to lighten the emotional load.

“It is also very tongue-in-cheek and the main aim is to get people talking about how they are feeling – to a friend, a family member, a colleague, a team-mate, a health professional or a complete stranger on the end of a phone at one of the many support networks out there.”

Chris is looking forward to Euro 24 in Germany and raising money for Mikeysline and Moray Mental Health FC.
Chris is looking forward to Euro 24 in Germany and raising money for Mikeysline and Moray Mental Health FC.

Chris, who has been with The Northern Scot and its sister papers since 1994, and is also part of team behind the digital offering of websites, Highland News and Media app and reader newsletters, launched the book at Elgin City Football Club on Saturday, June 1, with representatives from Mikeysline, Moray Mental Health FC, Elgin City and Scottish Action on Mental Health in attendance.

Guests stayed on to watch the Champions League final between Real Madrid and Borussia Dortmund.

Self-published with Biddles Books, it is £9.99 and is currently available direct from the author on c.saunderson28@gmail.com or by phoning 07881 915 998.

It is hoped it will soon be available at local bookshops and other outlets, and online.

You can find out more on Facebook and Instagram by searching for Christopher Saunderson and ‘You think it’s all over. F**k that! Stay in the Game’

Dressed in blue from top to toe ready for the Scottish Cup semi-final against Aberdeen at Hampden in April 2008.
Dressed in blue from top to toe ready for the Scottish Cup semi-final against Aberdeen at Hampden in April 2008.

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