Monday night’s Raith Rovers Hall of Fame has been hailed as a huge success by those who watched – and those who took part. The fifth annual event sold out in just 90 minutes when the tickets went on sale last November but it proved to be well worth the wait!

It was a night to remember – one filled with fun, laughter and genuine emotion as seven players were inducted. They included Marvin Andrews who struggled to hold back the tears as he thanked Raith Rovers for introducing him to football in the UK.

Former Prime Minister Gordon Brown gave a moving speech when introducing Jimmy Scott and Jimmy Todd, the two young players who died serving with the McCrae’s Battallion during WWI in 1916. And other inductees were Antonio Calderon, who had flown in from Spain especially for the event, Murray McDermott, Donald Urquhart and Peter Hetherston were all given rapturous welcomes from the capacity crowd. And, as ever, Bill Leckie proved to be a most engaging and capable host.

One of the highlights of the night came when the committee announced a new regular addition to the Hall of Fame in memory of the late Ally Gourlay – the Gourlay Inductee – whose first recipient was Stevie Crawford, as chosen by Ally himself before he passed away earlier this year.

The two star speakers, Phil Thompson and Paul Merson, shared some side-splitting anecdotes from their careers and both were knocked out by the event. Thompson paid an off the cuff tribute on stage.
And, afterwards, he said he had never experienced an evening like it. “You have something very special here,” he said. “Paul and I go to a lot of charity dinners and they’re always great, but this is something completely unique. What really took me surprise was the emotion. I knew there be a lot of laughs and good craic between the lads, but I didn’t expect for it to be so moving as well. I’ve honestly never been at anything like this.”

It’s an evening that will live long in the memories of all those who attended and plans are already underway for next year’s event with tickets going on sale this Saturday. They will be available from 10am at the Adam Smith Theatre box office only, limited to four per person, and will not be put up for sale online. Prices are £25 for a standard ticket or £55 for a VIP ticket, plus there is a booking fee of £1 per ticket.

Sponsor’s packages are also available at a cost of £1000. For details call Alistair Cameron on 07969251765 or email alistair@acasports.co.uk

There is an eight-page souvenir supplement of pictures from the Hall of Fame night in this week’s Fife Free Press.

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