Andy Young to join legends in Hall of Fame

Andy Young in action for Raith Rovers.

Andy Young in action for Raith Rovers.

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HE is often cited as the true fans’ favourite - but Andy Young is also a true Rovers’ great.

Outstanding in midfield or attack, he played 622 games for Rovers in a career which spanned the decades.

And his legacy earns him a place in the 2013 Hall of Fame.

Young is the second inductee to be unveiled for this year’s show, and, along with Alex James, will be honoured at the Adam Smith Theatre, Kirkcaldy, on Monday, November 11.

His induction will spark many memories from fans of a certain age who will recall him as part of the famous half-back line that included Ernie Till and Tommy Brady, and then Harry Colville and Andy Leigh back in the day when Rovers were leading lights in Scottish football.

Young enjoyed success with Rovers in a long career only bettered by the legendary Willie McNaught, who was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2012.

A miner from the west of Fife, he went from the junior ranks to play with Celtic aged just 17.

They loaned him out to Rovers in 1945, and so began a career that endured at Stark’s Park until 1960.

During that time, Young netted 141 goals, but never gained national honours - a lack of recognition that puzzled all who saw him play.

A powerful header of the ball, with a blistering shot as well as a deft touch, Young would have graced any national line-up, but he got no further than being listed as a reserve at a time when McNaught was called up for a handful of caps.

Golden era

The highlight of the 1950s golden era was undoubtedly the 5-1 destruction of Rangers at Stark’s Park in December 1956. It was the peak of the greatest Raith Rovers team in 30 years and, for a while, they looked genuine championship contenders, eventually finishing in fourth place, their highest position since 1922 and one that has not been bettered since.

Young’s final appearance was a Fife Cup tie against Dunfermline Athletic in May 1960, and he went on to have a three-year stint as manager of club Lochore Welfare, - but his true legacy was in unearthing raw talent.

As a scout he launched the careers of Willie Johnston (Rangers, West Brom, Hearts and Scotland), Ian Porterfield (Raith and Sunderland), Arthur Mann (Hearts), Tommy Callaghan (Celtic), Willie Renton (Dunfermline) and Jocky Richardson (Raith Rovers).

Scout

He also scouted for Celtic and Dunfermline Athletic - indeed, it is down to Young that Jim Leishman was given his first break in Scottish football.

He then joined his friend, Don Revie, at Leeds United, and was responsible for Gordon McQueen moving from St Mirren to Elland Road.

Young retired from football in 1994, resisting Jimmy Nicholl’s attempts to lure him back to Raith Rovers in a scouting role.

He lived in the same house in Lochgelly for 51 years, and died in 2008.