Stephen King features football team Buckie Thistle in new novella

Stephen King wins remote Highland League football team Buckie Thistle a new army of fans after featuring it in new novella series due to it’s ‘gorgeous name’

  • Football club Buckie Thistle sold a signed copy of Stephen King’s book for £900
  • The American author donated two copies of If It Bleeds to the Scottish team  
  • Fan Jamie Watt bought the book for his daughter Lucy, who loves King’s novels 
  • Buckie Thistle, better known as the Jags, feature in King’s new horror collection 

Stephen King has won Scottish football club Buckie Thistle a new army of fans after featuring the remote Highland League team in his new novella series.

The American horror author has featured Buckie Thistle in his latest horror collection If It Bleeds because of its ‘gorgeous name’. 

Since then, King has also donated Scotland’s north-east coast football team two signed copies of the book to help them fundraise during the coronavirus pandemic.

Fans of the Jags, which is how the football team are known, were stunned to find that the club were mentioned in King’s latest book, the Guardian reported. 

Stephen King donated two signed copies of his latest horror collection If It Bleeds to Scottish football club Buckie Thistle, who feature in his latest book. Pictured, the 72-year-old author wearing the club’s scarf and t-shirt

Buckie Thistle’s director of football, Graeme Tallis, said: ‘Everyone was surprised. 

‘We first knew about it when fans started to let us know on Facebook that we were in the book.’

King’s new collection of four novellas features a recurring character, the private detective Holly Gibney, who is investigating a bomb at a middle school. 

The students participate in an exchange programme with a partner school in Scotland. 

The Scottish children learn about baseball and the Pittsburgh Pirates, while pupils in the US learn about Buckie Thistle.

The 72-year-old author said he picked the club, based in the town of Buckie in Moray, because of its ‘gorgeous name’. 

After the club found out about this honour, Mr Tallis reached out to the author over email ‘not expecting a reply’. 

But he was surprised when King asked how the club was getting on during lockdown and even ‘said he would send us over two signed books’.  

Scottish football team Buckie Thistle (team pictured above) were featured in Stephen King’s horror collection If It Bleeds, much to the surprise of the club’s fans

The eleven-times Highland League winners decided to auction one of the signed copies to fundraise for their club, after the coronavirus lockdown halted sports back in March

Mr Tallis said the Jags have been fundraising to pay their bills but have a big fanbase who continue to support the club.

The eleven-times Highland League winners decided to auction one of the signed copies King of of If It Bleeds, as they have had to furlough staff during the coronavirus pandemic.

But the club were equally as shocked when a dedicated fan spent a staggering £900 on the signed copy for his daughter, who is an avid reader of King’s horror stories.  

Long-time Jags fan Jamie Watt, a metal worker from Leyland, Lancashire, decided to put an offer on the signed Stephen King book as a present for his daughter.

Mr Watt’s devotion to Buckie Thistle is only matched by his daughter Lucy’s admiration to Stephen King, as she ‘owns everything he has ever published, in hardback and paperback’. 

He said: ‘I went in really aggressive with my bid because I thought even if I don’t get it, it’ll push up the price. My daughter got the book and the club got the money, so everyone was happy.’ 

He did not tell Lucy the book was coming in the post until a package arrived from the north of Scotland earlier this week, sending her into ‘tears for half an hour’.

The Jags, as Buckie Thistle are known, put one of the signed books up for auction to help raise money during lockdown, where it fetched a staggering £900

Dedicated Jags fan Jamie Watts bought the signed copy of If It Bleeds as a surprise for his daughter Lucy, who ‘owns everything King has ever published’ in hardback and paperback

Mr Watt, who was born in Glasgow but moved south as a child, regularly travels to see the Jags’s matches but has not been able to go to Buckie since travel restrictions came into force in March.

He added that in ‘an ideal world’ King’s new connection with the club will ‘capture people’s imagination’ and might persuade they to go to a match. 

Mr Watt said: ‘It might bring them to a new audience and put some money in their coffers, especially now. A lot of these clubs operate on a shoestring.’ 

Buckie Thistle sent King a Buckie Thistle scarf and shirt to thank him for helping them raise money for the club, and have since received a photograph of the author happily wearing the memorabilia.

Mr Tallis said: ‘He was over the moon when I told him how much we had raised.

‘There’s an open invitation to Stephen King to visit us at [club ground] Victoria Park. He said he hadn’t been to Scotland for a few years so fingers crossed.’ 

Mr Tallis added that the other signed copy will remain in the club’s trophy room for the time being, adding that he ‘didn’t realise there were so many Stephen King fans going about’.  

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