THE committee behind the inaugural Raith Rovers Hall of Fame event have announced the new format to the evening’s proceedings - and fans of the Kirkcaldy side will have their say on the evening proceedings!
A forced change of date lead the organisers to rethink the programme, which was originally planned as a tribute night to Jim Baxter, and now Slim Jim will be joined by another seven legends from Rovers’ past.
Ally Gourlay, Chairman of the Rovers’ Former Players Association, is one of the committee members and says that the date change turned out to be a blessing in disguise.
“There were circumstances that lead to change the change of date but it became a great opportunity to make it more of a celebration of Raith Rovers, not just of Jim Baxter himself. Although we will certainly be devoting a great deal of it to him and rightly so. Baxter was a very special player.
“But we did have people asking us why was it that we had chosen just Baxter ahead of so many other players so we took that on board.
’’So, Jim will now take his place in the Hall of Fame alongside other Rovers legends, including Willie McNaught and Willie Penman.”
McNaught signed for the club in 1941 and would go on to make over 600 appearences for the club in over 20 years and is widely regarded as being Rovers’ best ever player. Penman is the club’s all-time top goalscorer with 211 goals in 328 appearances from 1942 and 1954.
Alongside Baxter, McNaught and Penman five other legends will also be inducted who will be picked by members of the public.
Over the next few months six names from each of the past five decades will be nominated as potential Hall of Fame inductees with the player who receives the most public votes gaining entry on the evening.
“This is a great opportunity for Rovers fans to chooses who they want to see in the Hall of Fame and I think it will be very interesting to see who they pick,” said Ally.
“From the 1990s it’s hard to look past the Coca-Cola cup-winning side but there may be one or two surprises here and there.
‘‘It’s sure to stimulate a lot of debate and argument.
“I’ve gone through each decade from the 1960s onwards and looked at who had scored the most goals and who had made the most appearances and used that as my guide.
“I’m sure that people will disagree with a few of my choices but that’s to be expected!
“It’s going to be a really great evening and I think that it’s going to be even bigger and better than was originally planned.
“It’s going to now be a more of an inclusive Raith Rovers night celebrating not just the players but the Rovers’ history.