It is with great sadness that the Club announces the death, at the grand old age of 97, of the legendary Ernest (Ernie) Till.

A midfielder (actually a half-back!), Ernie represented Raith Rovers from 1938 until 1951 making 229 appearances either side of the Second World War after signing from Crossgates Primrose in September 1938.

Edinburgh-born Ernie was brought up in Lawnmarket area of Edinburgh and told of his happy childhood, where his early football beginnings were of playing football “up the closes” and around back areas of the Lawnmarket houses. After playing amateur football in the Lothian Leagues, he moved to play with Bo’ness Cadora, forerunners of the current junior side Bo’ness United.

He then moved to play with Crossgates Primrose; it was only after a handful of games that Raith Rovers’ manager Sandy Archibald offered the young Ernie the chance to sign. Although he had offers to take trials with both Hearts and Hamilton, Ernie decided to sign for Raith Rovers, a move he later described as the best he ever made. He would speak of how good the club and the people of Kirkcaldy were to him.

Ernie would speak with pride of the day, the 7th January 1939, when Raith Rovers beat Celtic 4-0, with Ernie scoring one of goals; he told how he beat four Celtic players, then the keeper to put the ball in the net, to a great roar from the 11,500 Stark’s Park crowd.

War interrupted his football career, but before being called up for service in 1940 Ernie played as a guest for Hibernian, which with a laugh he described as hurting as he was always a Hearts supporter. He also played at Tynecastle for a Scotland select against the Empire Army XI.

After the war, he was club captain for a period and he was in the side that won the B Division in 1948-49. Ernie scored 5 goals for the Rovers. He left to join Arbroath in November 1951 and eventually finished his playing career with Leith Athletic.

He returned to Stark’s Park regularly over the years, firstly for the Raith Rovers’ Centenary celebrations and match in 1983 and more recently, FPA chairman John Greer had the pleasure of driving him through from his home in the Saughton area of Edinburgh, when he was the club’s guest of honour and he made the half-time 50/50 draw.

The funeral service of the great Ernie Till will take place at Warriston Crematorium, Edinburgh on Monday 5th December at 1.30pm to which all friends and supporters who are able to make it are cordially invited.

Raith Legend Ernie Till presented Patricia Mack with her 50/50 winnings at the half time draw, when Raith played Hamilton in August 2012

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