Ancient silverware returned to Rovers

4012023 SSFF nairn trophy 'L - R: Turnbull Hutton, Bill Mason - with the Nairn Trophy - in the Boardroom, Starks Park, Kirkcaldy

4012023 SSFF nairn trophy 'L - R: Turnbull Hutton, Bill Mason - with the Nairn Trophy - in the Boardroom, Starks Park, Kirkcaldy

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RAITH Rovers collected their first silverware of the season on Saturday after a fan handed back a trophy the club first won over a century ago.

The Kirkcaldy Cottage Hospital Cup, known locally as the Nairn Cup after it was put up by the famous linoleum manufacturing family from Kirkcaldy, was first competed for in the 1890s as an annual competition among Fife clubs.

Raith were its first winners in 1897, defeating Kirkcaldy United after a second replay, and the club went on to win it three more times before the competition ceased in 1903.

The Nairn Cup lay dormant in the old Kirkcaldy Cottage Hospital, lost for some 70 years, before it was finally re-discovered in 1973.

It was then donated by Fife Health Board to the Scottish Ambulance Service where it was used for first aid competitions.

The first winner of the trophy was local man, and Raith supporter, Bill Mason. The competition ran for several years before it was eventually presented back to Bill as the inaugral winner.

Bill always had a hankering to give the trophy back to the Rovers, and in August, he contacted club director Turnbull Hutton and offered the cup to the club.

On Saturday, Bill and his son, Liam - a regular in the South Stand - were invited to the board room as guests of the club, where the solid silver trophy now proudly sits on show.

Bill told the Press: “I felt it was only right that the cup should go back to its original winners.

“It was initially a football trophy - and Raith were the first and last winners - so it’s back in its natural home.”

Mr Hutton added: “The club wish to extend their thanks to Bill Mason for his generous gesture.”