It is with great sadness that the club have learned of the passing of former Raith Rovers player Bobby Stein, aged 82, last Friday. He served Raith Rovers with distinction from 1960 until 1969.
Bobby Stein signed for Raith Rovers from Broxburn Athletic on the 5th of August 1960. He was offered a signing-on fee of £20 by the then manager Bert Herdman.
He joined a club that featured the club’s famous ‘half-back line’ of Scottish International Willie McNaught, Andy Young and Andy Leigh and credited their experience as helping him settle into the side when he was given his opportunity.
As the 1960s progressed these experienced players were replaced by more younger players and the Raith Rovers fortunes suffered until in 1966-67, they were promoted.
Bobby Stein played his part in the game that saw Raith Rovers promoted, scoring twice on the last day of the seasons 7-2 win over QOS, not a bad feat for a right-back. Bobby and his Raith Rovers team mates were back in the top league of Scottish Football.
This gave Bobby the chance to play against his brother Colin, firstly at Hibs and then against Glasgow Rangers.
On the 3rd of April 1969, Bobby Stein left Raith Rovers and signed for Montrose.
After a short spell he signed for East Stirlingshire, where he got the chance to play for their new manager, Alex Ferguson.
Bobby recounted a conversation he had with Fergie to John Greer (author of this obituary, who
visited Bobby 2 years ago at his home in Falkirk):
Alex said, “that I was older than him”. Bobby replied “No, it’s just that I was born before you”!
Bobby added “Fergie was like a breath of fresh air; he had all these ideas about training and playing that were so different to all the other managers. He was also very driven; he was always going to be a very successful manager”.
Bobby spent seven enjoyable seasons with East Stirlingshire before retiring.
In recent years, he has been a welcome guest at the successful Rovers Down South and Former Players’ Association dinners and he kept a keen interest in the club’s fortunes.
Raith Rovers 1960-1969 318 games, 15 goals
Honours: Scottish Second Division Runners Up 1966-67
Fife Cup Winner 5 times.