Join the great Raith Rovers keepie uppie challenge!

Director Dave Wann with Craig Easton and players from the Raith Rovers Development Squad (Pic by Fife Photo Agency)
Director Dave Wann with Craig Easton and players from the Raith Rovers Development Squad (Pic by Fife Photo Agency)
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The 50th anniversary of one of the greatest days in Scottish football history will be marked by a double celebration in Kirkcaldy.

Scotland defeated the then-world champions England 3-2 at Wembley on April 15, 1967 – the Auld Enemy’s first defeat since lifting the World Cup the previous year – with star man on the day former Raith Rovers player, Jim Baxter.

A celebration evening marking five decades since ‘Slim Jim’ tormented the English defence with his audacious keepie-uppie has been organised by the club at the Adam Smith Theatre on Monday, April 17.

Rovers are also marking the occasion with a kids’ keepie-uppie competition in honour of Baxter’s wing wizardry.

It will take place on March 25 at the Town Square between 11am-1pm and is open to all schoolchildren from P5 onwards, with Craig Easton, Rover’s head of youth development, and members of his player development squad coming along to give demonstrations.

The challenge is to juggle the ball up and down a course and finish by scoring into a goal, with children competing in three categories.

P5, P6 and P7 will start at 11.15am, S1 and S2 will start at 11.45am and S3, S4, S5 and S6 will start at 12.15pm.

Times to complete the challenge will be recorded and those with the best times in each category will be invited to take part in a final at half time at Stark’s Park on Saturday, April 15 when Rovers take on Morton in the Championship.

The winners of the final will be presented with a prize at the forthcoming Jim Baxter celebration event, which will feature a host of star guests, and will raise funds for Rovers’ player development squad which hopes to uncover the next generation of players with Baxter’s skills.

Dave Wann, club director, said: “We have a number of special guests coming along on the night who had a personal connection with Jim Baxter.

“Jim McCalliog scored in the 3-2 game, Willie Henderson was a good friend of Jim’s and as some people know, though many don’t, our very own Val McDermid’s father, also Jim, was the Raith Rovers scout who spotted Jim playing for Crossgates Primrose.”

Joining them will be former Kirkcaldy MP Gordon Brown, who unveiled the statue in Hill of Beath, and ex-Scotland manager Craig Brown.

Dave said: “When Jim left Rovers to sign for Rangers it was actually Craig Brown who was given the task of looking after Jim so he’s bound to have a few stories to tell!”

Tickets for the event are available at £20 for a standard ticket or £30 for VIP which will includes a pie and a pint and chance to meet the VIP guests in the Beveridge Suite at the Adam Smith Theatre before the show.

Standard tickets are available online at www.onfife.com, by phone on 01592-583302 or online or in person at the box office, but VIP tickets must be bought on the phone or in person.

The club is also looking for sponsors for the event who should get in touch via email at pdf@raithrovers.net.