“People are at the very heart of Raith Rovers. They make it tick, they deliver its successes, they shape its structure and, the very very best – leave a footprint that remains visible for the rest of time”
Allan Crow November 2012.
Allan Crow along with Alistair Cameron went to see an “Evening with Sir Alex Ferguson” at the Alhambra Theatre in Dunfermline and in the days afterwards former Prime Minister and Rovers fan Gordon Brown contacted them and suggested that a similar evening could be held at the Adam Smith Theatre to honour Jim Baxter. Willie MacGregor was asked to join the committee and he brought Ally Gourlay on board and they believed that evening should focus on all the great Raith Rovers’ players of the past and so the Raith Rovers’ Hall of Fame was born.
Many club’s have a Hall of Fame, but none that we know of stage it in a theatre and it isn’t just the setting that sets the event for Raith Rovers apart from the rest. There’s a real sense of community on and off the stage every time the doors open for the Hall of Fame night.
The aim is to capture the atmosphere and camaraderie of the dressing-room and to import it on to the stage of the Adam Smith Theatre. The humour, the characters and the ties that bind the players long after they have hung up their boots and gone their separate ways.
But above all, it’s a way to pay tribute to the inductees. The night is all about their families. Inductions into the Hall of Fame is the highest honour any club can give to its greatest servants and to do it on a stage filled with their peers and their own heroes, in front of a full house, is something very special indeed.
Over the years we have witnessed many moving, poignant and special moments.
No-one will ever forget the moving standing ovations for the families of the late Ian Redford and Ronnie Coyle or the emotional speech by big Marvin Andrews, when he broke down in tears or the humour and humility of Peter Hetherston.
It’s clear to see how much being a Hall of Fame inductee means to them and their loved ones.
John Greer joined the committee in 2015, unfortunately 2015 was to be Ally Gourlay’s last show, though he wasn’t expected to make 2015 but the stubborn guy made sure he made it. Ally was actually inducted into the Hall of Fame, much to his surprise, in 2014.
Following the 2018 show founding members Allan Crow and Willie MacGregor announced they were stepping down from the organising committee; Greig Hopcroft and Matthew Elder were brought on board to take the event forward…
Raith Rovers Hall of Fame Inductees
Jim Baxter 84 appearances, 4 goals.
Willie McNaught 658 appearances, 15 goals.
Gordon Dalziel 378 appearances, 202 goals.
Iain Davidson 453 appearances, 16 goals (as at 2nd August 2019).
Jimmy Nicholl 149 appearances, 7 goals.
Willie Penman 328 appearances, 211 goals.
Bobby Reid 328 appearances.
Andy Harrow 277 appearances, 74 goals.
Tom Houston 281 appearances, 2 goals.
Colin Cameron 168 appearances, 42 goals.
Brian Cooper 350 appearances, 12 goals.
Allan Forsyth 206 appearances, 11 goals.
Laurie Ellis 372 appearances, 15 goals.
Gordon Wallace 225 appearances, 114 goals
Alex James 151 appearances, 41 goals.
Johnnie Urquhart 258 appearances, 75 goals.
Willie Polland 372 appearances, 2 goals.
Andy Young 622 appearances, 141 goals.
Raith Rovers’ Coca-Cola Cup Winners
Andy Leigh 489 appearances, 5 goals.
David McGurn 244 appearances (as at 2nd August 2019).
Joe Baker 75 appearances, 50 goals.
John McStay 334 appearances, 32 goals.
Colin Harris 217 appearances, 83 goals.
Murray McDermott 494 appearances.
Stephen Crawford 160 appearances, 37 goals.
Marvin Andrews 145 appearances, 14 goals.
Antonio Calderon 60 appearances, 4 goals.
Peter Hetherston 126 appearances, 14 goals.
Donald Urquhart 498 appearances, 25 goals.
Jimmy Scott 72 appearances, 24 goals.
Jimmy Todd 27 appearances, 4 goals.
Craig Brewster 103 appearances, 38 goals.
Paul Sweeney 257 appearances, 10 goals.
Jackie Stewart 244 appearances, 89 goals.
George McLay 107 appearances, 8 goals.
Shaun Dennis 453 appearances, 16 goals.
Keith Wright 211 appearances, 96 goals.
Tony Rougier 81 appearances, 14 goals.
Scott Thomson 165 appearances.
Paul Smith 162 appearances, 64 goals.
Chris Candlish 312 appearances, 17 goals.
Ian Porterfield 153 appearances, 22 goals.
Bill Leckie wrote a piece on Ally Gourlay in November 2016:
“Ally Gourlay was the life and soul of the Rovers, the heart and soul of the Hall of Fame.
It was his desire that drove the show from the very start, his relationships with the club’s old boys that added the extra spark it needed to go from a good idea to a brilliant experience.
The players he rang round to attend loved him. They respected him. Most of all, they couldn’t say no to him. None of us could.
From my point of view as the guy brought in from the outside asked to hold the night together, having Ally on stage was magnificent.
I could introduce the guys and link the awards together, but he really KNEW the people involved, knew them personally as well as knowing their careers about forensically as they did themselves.
I could throw to him at any time, to talk to any player, and he’d have a question about a specific game or a memorable goal, asked with the absolute passion of a true fan.
The passion, the knowledge – that was what Ally brought to the party.
Well that and a personality big enough to fill the Albert Hall, never mind the Adam Smith Theatre.
We’d gone through 2015 fearing he wouldn’t make November, not with the ratbag that is cancer ravaging his system more and more by the day. But make it he did, because he wasn’t missing it for the world – and when I announced his name the audience raised the roof, he walked out with a daft grin on his coupon, clutched his chest and pretended to have a heart attack. Remember that moment? How could we forget it? That was Ally. Not looking for sympathy, not wanting a fuss made of him or his illness, just up for a right good night out.
The year before, of course, he’d been the most surprised person in the place when he himself was inducted into Rovers’ history. He said to me afterwards: “I heard the nominations being read out and I was thinking that I hadn’t read this one in the running order….then I heard my name and thought: ****ing Hell!” To say he was touched was an understatement.
But who among us could think of anyone more fitting to take his place in among the other greats who’d been brought up to receive their trophies before him and those who are still to come?
Who could deny Ally Gourlay that moment in the spotlight and an eternity in the annals?
Not for me, for one- because of all the privileges afforded to me since being asked to play a part in these Hall of Fame nights, becoming his friend was undoubtedly the greatest. He taught me so much about courage, about humility and about friendship and for that I thank him with all my heart.
The turnout at his funeral spoke for the love so many felt for him, as did the atmosphere at that brilliant tribute match held at Stark’s Park a few weeks later.
His spirit will be alive and kicking throughout the auditorium, backstage with the old boys and in every presentation to every Rovers’ hero at every show from now and into the future”
2012: Gordon Strachan & Archie McPherson
2013: Graeme Souness & Liam Brady
2014: Jeff Stelling & Charlie Nicholas
2015: Harry Redknapp & Joe Jordan
2016: Phil Thompson & Paul Merson
2017: Ray Parlour & Chris Kamara
2018: Robbie Savage & Dean Saunders