A RHU man and former television journalist is launching a book next week to fund the creation of a new dementia charity which will campaign for heading to be banned from football.

Advertiser columnist and former news man, Mike Edwards, is to release his latest book, You’re Seeing It!, which highlights the big news stories he covered during 26 years as a reporter with STV, his service in Iraq and Afghanistan as an Army Reserve officer and the years spent caring for his elderly mother Margaret, who had been diagnosed with dementia.

It will be launched at a signing event in the Royal Northern Yacht Club on Wednesday, December 14 from 7pm. There is a second signing at Waterstones on Byres Road in Glasgow from 7pm on December 20.

Mike told the Advertiser: “My third book, You’re Seeing It! is an autobiography and an easy win as a Christmas gift because it covers a lot of ground which many people will identify with and all proceeds go to charity.

“I was fortunate enough to report on the biggest news stories to have broken in Scotland over a quarter of a century, like the Scottish Independence referendum, the Commonwealth Games and major criminal trials. I witnessed these events and my book tells the behind the scenes story.”

The 57-year-old retired from STV in 2019 to care for his mother Margaret in the last years of her life after she was diagnosed with dementia. He plans to use the profits from the book to start a new charity in Scotland to try to have heading banned.

Mike continued: “Football has to change to stop increasing the number of cases of dementia.

“Heading the ball is a slow but certain killer and I will be trying to get the game’s authorities to alter rules and players and coaches to amend attitudes. The game must adapt so young players grow up learning not to head the ball in the same way they learn not to handle it.

Mike will launch his charity in the new year and says that once it is up and running, he’ll be lobbying sporting authorities to change rules.

Several big sporting names have indicated they will join the board, among them former Scotland and British Lions rugby star John Beattie and Gail Pirie, the daughter of Scotland manager Ally MacLeod, who died after a diagnosis of dementia. He has already received a £1,000 donation and has a board of trustees in place.

“Boxing, I would ban altogether although that’s unlikely to happen,” said Mike. “But rugby has changed, which is a fantastic example, and has to change yet further. Football has to do the same."

Mike’s book also covers his service as an Army Reservist in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and he describes the visceral fear he experienced coming under fire on the battlefield.

Mike is also a Deputy Lord Lieutenant of Dunbartonshire. He was awarded the OBE for public and charitable services in the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Honours List.

Mike will sign copies of You’re Seeing It! at the launches in Rhu and Glasgow. For those unable to attend, signed copies with personalised messages are available before Christmas by contacting Mike’s agent andrewcaledonia@gmail.com.