If someone had told Raith Rovers fan Steven Lawther immediately after watching his team win the League Cup final in November 1994 that one day he would be sharing the stage with Gordon Dalziel to talk about that momentous victory, he would have questioned their sanity.
Fast forward 20 years and that is exactly where Lawther finds himself tonight (Thursday) as he appears alongside the former Rovers’ captain at an event for Scottish Book Week in Kirkcaldy Galleries.
Lawther, a season ticket holder at Stark’s Park, takes to the stage as the author of ‘Unthinkable - Raith Rovers’ improbable journey from the bottom to the top of Scottish football’, the recently launched book telling the story of the Kirkcaldy side’s famous cup win.
It was a win that gripped Scottish football fans at the time and a story that the author felt deserved to be told.
“I had always thought that it was one of Scottish footballs great stories,” he said.
“Here was a team who were second bottom of the Scottish Football League and playing in front of tiny crowds in the mid-eighties but less than a decade later they had reached the Premier Division and beaten Glasgow Celtic in the League Cup Final to qualify for Europe.”
The book was a labour of love for the self confessed Rovers fanatic.
“People say to me that it must have been difficult writing the book,” Steven said. “The truth is that I enjoyed every minute of it.
“Getting to speak to the players I used to watch from the terraces was an absolute privilege and the biggest challenge was not starting every interview by telling them that I thought they were great. I left that to the end of each interview!”
“They were all incredibly helpful and it allowed me to write the book from their perspective and find out what each player was thinking each step of the journey.
“Even the Celtic captain who missed the vital penalty in the final, Paul McStay, was willing to contribute to the book and I spoke at length to Frank Connor and Jimmy Nicholl, the two managers who helped the club make the journey from the lower leagues.
“It is a great insight in how to build a winning team.”
The book is selling well with over 700 copies sold already and it has been receiving great reviews from those who have read it.
Lawther is look forward to sharing the stage with Dalziel, his all time favourite Rovers player.
“Gordon is a Rovers legend for all the goals he scored and that equaliser in the League Cup Final,” he said. It is an honour to appear alongside him.
“We already had an event together at Waterstones in Kirkcaldy just after the book was launched and he was hugely entertaining.
“He is a great character and full of stories from his playing career and it is guaranteed to be a great night with a lot of laughs.”
The event starts at 7.30 p.m at Kirkcaldy Galleries and tickets priced £6.50 (£5.50) will be available on the door. ‘Unthinkable’ is published by Pitch Publishing and is available to buy direct from the Raith Rovers’ club shop, Waterstones or online.