A special bond between the fans and the team of ’94 ...

Raith Rovers fan and Hall of Fame sponsor John Wilson
Raith Rovers fan and Hall of Fame sponsor John Wilson

Raith Rovers supporter and Hall of Fame sponsor John Wilson says the side that won the Coca-Cola cup is one that had a special bond between the players.

Hotelier John, of Abottshall Road in Kirkcaldy, has been a Rovers fan for 45 years and thinks that the famous victory in 1994 is one that is unlikely to be repeated.

Remembering the Coca-Cola Cup victory, he said: “What a day that was! Though to be honest it’s one big blur.

“I lived in Auchtertool at the time and there was a bus load of us that went through from there, then afterwards we went back and had a party at my house. It was just a fabulous occasion.”

John says all his years following the Rovers had left him with some great memories.

“I’ve pretty much gone home and away all that time and my son has had a season ticket since he was three, so we’re a whole family of Rovers supporters.

“Funnily enough, one of my best memories is beating Alloa to get promotion from the old Second Division in 1976. I remember Davie Hunter hitting a free kick into the top corner to win the match. That was the first time I’d ever seen Rovers win promotion so that’s quite a special memory.”

Another occasion that looms large for John is Rovers excursion into Europe following the Coca-Cola Cup win.

He says: “That was just a surreal experience!

“When you support a team like Rovers you don’t expect to be following them into Europe.

“Bayern Munich won the UEFA Cup that season and their lowest aggregate win all the way through was against Rovers. It was something else, quite amazing!

“That team really had something about them. They had a spirit that I’ve never seen in a Rovers side since.

“I remember at the time thinking that I needed to enjoy it whilst it’s happening because I don’t think I’ll see it again in my lifetime.

‘‘Finance dictates football now. You might see a provincial club like Rovers win the occasional cup but to then go on and do well in Europe like we did, a small team from Kirkcaldy, I can’t see that happening again.

“It was a great team and one of the really good things around that era was that you saw the players out and about in the town mingling with the fans at the weekend. That doesn’t happen anymore.”

John says he’s looking forward to the sold-out Hall of Fame night on November 10 as he thoroughly enjoyed the first two.

“I think they’ve both been exceptional,” he said. “The whole night is just fantastic with great guests and seeing all the old players is great for us Rovers fans.

“I think the guys have set themselves a high benchmark and this year with it being the 20th anniversary I was keen to get involved.

“I’m delighted to be one of the sponsors as this year’s show is going to be something really special.”