Some of Scottish football’s biggest names believe growing up in a deprived area helped them succeed in life.
Professor John McKendrick, co-director of the Scottish Poverty and Inequality Research Unit (SPIRU), will use the life stories of ex-players to highlight Glasgow’s rich history of community spirit, in the latest Professorial Lecture at Glasgow Caledonian University.
Using extracts from more than 100 autobiographies, Professor McKendrick will outline how people can enrich areas through traditional community values and how opportunities exist in places synonymous with poverty and disadvantage.
The Common Wealth of Glasgow will explore the challenges facing the city and how it can use lessons from the past to shape its future.
Professor McKendrick, who is also a top-flight football referee, said: "Scottish football autobiographies often peddle the line that the success the subject has had in life was as a result of growing up in a deprived community.
"It’s an interesting take on things and challenges the lazy thinking that opportunities and resources are only available in certain areas.
"Sir Alex Ferguson’s book with Hugh McIlvaney, for example, paints a very vivid picture of what life was like growing up in Govan and the many positive aspects of living there."
He added: “We must not lose sight of the human resource that is suggested by the city’s favourite marketing mantra: People Make Glasgow.
"A more prosperous Glasgow doesn't have to dismiss the importance of the resources that enriched the Glasgow of yesteryear."
SPIRU, in partnership with the Poverty Alliance, aims to bring together academics from across Scotland and strengthen links between those working on poverty and inequality research, campaign groups and policymakers.
The Professorial Lecture takes place on Tuesday, May 8 at the Deeprose Lecture Theatre at Glasgow Caledonian University from 5.30pm.