On the ball with Raith Rovers to honour Slim Jim

Raith Rovers' Development Squad with Craig Easton
Raith Rovers' Development Squad with Craig Easton

The sun was out as youngsters took part in the Raith Rovers Keepie Uppie Challenge in Kirkcaldy’s Town Square.

The event was organised by the club in tribute to its former player and son of Fife, Jim Baxter, who famously taunted the English at Wembley by performing a keepie uppie during a 3-2 Scotland win 50 years ago in 1967.

Pupils from Capshard PS with Roary Rover (Fife Photo Agency)

Pupils from Capshard PS with Roary Rover (Fife Photo Agency)

It took place ahead of the tribute night to ‘Slim Jim’ which will take place on Monday, April 17, at the Adam Smith Theatre with a line-up of famous names ready to pay tribute to one of the finest footballers ever to pull on the blue shirt.

At the Town Square on Saturday, which was also holding the Farmers’ Market, Craig Easton and his Player Development Squad gave demonstrations of the technique before the school age children showed off their own skills.

Dave Wann, Rovers director, said: “They showed great enthusiasm and there was some excellent quality on show.

“The weather at the challenge was terrific – the Town Square felt like the French Riviera with the Farmer’s Market in the background and the whiff of smokies in the air!”

Andreas Thorsen at the Keepie Uppie Challenge (Fife Photo Agency)

Andreas Thorsen at the Keepie Uppie Challenge (Fife Photo Agency)

From the primary school age group the two qualifying for the final were Callum Husband and Craig Sinclair, both from Capshard Primary. Joining them from the secondary school age group are Louix Cumming and Zak Robb, both from Balwearie High School.

The quartet will now take part in a final show down on April 15 at half time during the Raith Rovers v Morton Championship clash, with the winner being presented with his prize at the Jim Baxter tribute night, where a face familiar to Rovers fans who have attended the Hall of Fame nights has been added to the line-up.

Dave said: “We can now confirm that our host for the evening will be Bill Leckie, who is a regular visitor to Kirkcaldy for the annual Hall of Fame show.

“Also, Tom Miller, the author of the Jim Baxter biography Slim Jim: Simply The Best, published a couple of years ago, will also be participating.”

(Pic by Fife Photo Agency)

(Pic by Fife Photo Agency)

Joining them will be Jim McCalliog, who also played in the Wembley 1967 game, former Kirkcaldy MP Gordon Brown, ex-Scotland boss Craig Brown and author and Raith Rover fan Val McDermid.

Tickets for the event are available at £20 for a standard ticket or £30 for a VIP ticket from the theatre’s box office.