Raith Rovers ’94 - Where Are They Now Part 2

Raith Rovers Hall of Fame 2014
Raith Rovers Hall of Fame 2014

The Raith Rovers Hall of Fame night on Monday, November 10, pays tribute to the Coca-Cola Cup winning side of 1994.

To mark the occasion, over a series of articles, we take an in-depth look at the players who were in the Raith squad at the time of that historic success.

All profiles written by Ally Gourlay.

DAVID SINCLAIR

Originally a product of Dunfermline Athletic’s youth system, Davie was signed for Raith Rovers from Kelty Hearts Under 21’s by Frank Connor in March 1990. He established himself in an attacking midfield role the following year, but following a loan spell at Portadown, Jimmy Nicholl converted him into a defensive midfielder where he blossomed as part of the ‘new breed’. Described by Nicholl as being ‘so tough he has tattoos on his teeth’ he formed the bedrock of the ‘Coyle, Dennis, Sinclair’ partnership. He won First Division medals in 1993 and 1995 as well as the Coca Cola Cup medal. Sinky was also given the captain’s armband for the memorable night in the Olympiastadion Munchen. In all he made 235 appearances for Raith, scoring 11 goals. At the end of 1995/96, along with Stevie Crawford and Jason Dair, he joined up with Jimmy Nicholl at Millwall but life down south soon turned sour. He moved back north for a short spell with Dundee United, followed by stints at Falkirk and Forfar before retiring from the game. Since then he has been back at Stark’s Park on many occasions and is a committed Raith fan. He currently works as a supervisor with a warehouse company in Grangemouth.

STEVIE CRAWFORD (pictured)

The second most successful of Raith’ ‘new breed’, Stevie signed for Raith from Castlebridge in 1991, having previously been part of Dunfermline’s youth system. He broke through into the side during the First Division Championship campaign of 1992/93 and quickly established himself as one of the country’s top new talents. Over the next three years he gained 19 Scotland Under 21 Caps and became Raith’s first full Scotland internationalist since Willie McNaught when he was capped against Ecuador in 1995. He scored Scotland’s winning goal in a 2 – 1 win, and in doing so became the first Rovers to score for Scotland since Dave Morris in 1924. In between times Stevie won the First Division Championship and the Coca Cola Cup with Raith, scoring the opening goal in the match at Ibrox. After 37 goals in 160 games for Raith, ‘Craw’ left for Millwall along with Davie Sinclair and Jason Dair, but despite scoring 11 goals at the New Den, he returned north after only one season, joining Hibernian. After two years at Easter Road, Stevie joined Dunfermline Athletic where he had the most productive spell of his career, winning another 24 Scotland caps. He played in Scottish Cup Finals with the Pars, and Dundee United with a spell at Plymouth Argyle in between. He had short spells at Aberdeen, and again at Dunfermline before he joined big spending East Fife in Division Two. Craw took over the managerial reins from Dave Baikie and had the team playing some of the most attractive football seen at New Bayview in recent years. In the January 2011 transfer window, Craw joined Cowdenbeath, teaming up again with Jimmy Nicholl and Colin Cameron. Stevie also joins a select few who have played first team football with all four Fife senior clubs. He returned to coaching with Falkirk and is now assistant to Robbie Neilson at Hearts.

GORDON DALZIEL (pictured)

Raith Rovers’ record League goalscorer, and second only to Willie Penman in the all time scoring charts. He burst on the scene as a teenager with Rangers, gathering rave reviews, winning a League Cup medal in 1981. He moved south to Manchester City in 1983 in a move he would later describe as the worst of his career. He returned north to Partick Thistle but his appetite for the game had been lost. He was playing on a non-contract basis with East Stirlingshire when Frank Connor persuaded him to join Raith Rovers midway through the Second Division campaign of 1986/87. Viewed by Dalziel as a last attempt at the senior game, he struck up a partnership with Colin Harris, and with Frank Connor’s constant refusal to give up on him, his free scoring ways returned. Over the next eight years he would finish the season as Raith’s top scorer. His partnership with Craig Brewster was even more prolific than that with Harris. Apart from two First Division Championship medals, he was also voted First Division Player of the Year in 1992 and 1993. He was also given the captain’s armband for the Coca Cola Cup Final. It was perhaps entirely appropriate that he should score the late equaliser to take the match into extra time. At the end of 1994/95, Dalziel bowed out on a high having scored 202 goals in 378 appearances, and joined Ayr United in a player coach role, later taking on the role of manager where he became their most successful manager of recent times, leading them to the Second Division title, runners up in Division One, a League Cup Final and the Scottish Cup Final. He returned to Raith as manager following the disastrous Claude Anelka, and had to endure very difficult conditions as he tried to rebuild the club. Never the less, he has been credited with steadying the ship during a time that Raith almost went out of business, and for that we should be forever grateful. Nowadays Gordon coaches players who are out of the game, successfully putting some back into the game, and combines that role with pundit work for Radio Clyde.

ALLY GRAHAM

Big Ally must have more ‘former player association’ memberships than anyone else, having played for nearly a third of Scotland’s senior clubs! He made his name as a striker with Albion Rovers and Ayr United, having originally started out with Clydebank. A big move to Motherwell followed in 1993 before Jimmy Nicholl signed him for Rovers later the same year. His spell at Raith co-incided with a First Division title win, The Coca Cola Cup Final victory and the European adventure. With 30 goals in 120 matches for Raith, he was another victim of Jimmy Thomson’s player cull and moved on to Falkirk. Over the next ten years he would turn out for Partick Thistle, Albion Rovers, Ayr United, Clyde, Stirling Albion, Clydebank, Hamilton Accies, Queen’s Park and East Stirling. Nowadays Ally has carved himself a career in sports journalism, working as a reporter for the Sunday Mail.

COLIN CAMERON (pictured)

The most successful player of the ‘new breed’, Mickey would go on to enjoy a glittering career both sides of the border. A Raith fan from an early age he joined the club from junior side Lochore Welfare. After signing for Raith, he was farmed out to Kelty Hearts and then Sligo Rovers before he established himself in the side. A true midfield general, he was the engine room of the side and his hat-trick against Kilmarnock in the Coca Cola Cup in 1994 typified the never say die attitude that prevailed at Stark’s Park. While at Raith he won two Scotland ‘B’ caps against Northern Ireland and Sweden. In total he scored 42 goals in 168 games for Rovers before he was transferred to Hearts for £400000 (plus John Millar) in March 1996. At Tynecastle he added a Scottish Cup medal to the two First Division and Coca Cola Cup medals he had won at Kirkcaldy, scoring the opening penalty in Hearts 1998 success over Rangers. In August 2001 Cameron moved to Wolves in a £1.75m deal and quickly became a favourite at Molineux, scoring their first ever Premiership goal against Manchester City. Wolves never lost a match in which Cameron scored. Cameron also gained 28 Scotland Caps, scoring twice against Lithuania and San Marino. When Glenn Hoddle was appointed Wolves manager, Cameron found himself out of favour and out on loan to Millwall, before joining Coventry City on a free transfer in 2006, despite protests from the Wolves support. After a year at Coventry he moved to MK Dons, helping them to the League Two title and the Football League Trophy. He returned north in 2008, signing for Dundee but his time at Dens Park was blighted by injury, spending a period on loan at Arbroath. He moved into management with Cowdenbeath, leading them to promotion from the Second Division in 2012. He currently is manager of League Two side Berwick Rangers.