Jim Baxter, Scotland’s greatest ever footballer, is to be the first inductee in a new Hall of Fame at Raith Rovers.
The iconic internationalist will take centre stage at a gala show at Adam Smith Theatre, Kirkcaldy. on Monday, May 21. All proceeds from the event will go to Raith Rovers – where his glittering career began – as part of the ‘Rally Round Rovers’ campaign which was launched in 2011.
The evening will feature VIP guests from the world of football and many local dignitaries as they pay tribute to ‘Slim Jim’.
Ticket details will be announced very soon – and given Baxter’s global reputation and iconic status, the organisers are looking for a full house to give the new Hall of Fame the best possible launch.
The inaugural event is being organised by a group of local businessmen and Gordon Brown MP, and has been unanimously endorsed by the board of directors at Raith Rovers.
The committee comprises Alistair Cameron, of ACA Sports, Willie MacGregor of MacGregor Solicitors, Matt Lawson of AKSL Consultancy, and Allan Crow, editor of the Fife Free Press.
Launching the Hall of Fame event, Mr Brown said: ‘‘I very much welcome the plan to install Jim Baxter as the first Rover in the club’s Hall of Fame. I worked with others to create a statue in Jim’s honour in Hill of Beath – so near to where he went to school, where he first played football and first worked down the pits. The inauguration ceremony for the statue was a famous day for Fife.”
Mr Brown, a lifelong Rovers fan, also has memories of watching ‘Slim Jim’ playing for the Rovers.
“I saw him in the team that started with the names ‘Drummond, Polland, Mochan, Young, McNaught, Leigh and, of course, Johnny Urquhart.” he said: ”I do hope we will be able to have Jim’s sons, Alan and Steven, with us on the evening along with some great names from the world of football.”
It was Baxter’s iconic status within the game that made him the clear choice to be first into the Hall of Fame.
Alistair Cameron commented: “There are many great Rovers players – and teams – to be honoured, but Jim’s reputation is global. In launching the Hall of Fame we wanted to make it open to all fans to come along and be part of what promises to be a fantastic night – that’s why we have gone for a live show on stage rather than a gala dinner.
“We’re indebted to the staff at the Adam Smith Theatre for their invaluable support and look forward to announcing our special guests.”
Matt Lawson said: ”It’s an honour to be involved in a tribute to someone who is recognised as Scotland’s most iconic footballer worldwide.
“Apart from the quality of the guests who will be involved on the evening, one of the most attractive features of the Hall of Fame function is the fact that it will be priced at an affordable level”
Allan Crow, editor of The Fife Free Press, added: ”The ‘Rally Round Rovers’ campaign has already generated £10,000 – and we hope this event will be a major fundraiser for the club.”
Willie MacGregor said: ”The Hall of Fame is a great idea. In the coming years fans can decide which Rovers’ greats deserve to be honoured and allow much needed funds to be raised for the club at the same time.”
Pictures © Fife Free Press.