Raith strip deal is about putting something back

Raith Rovers fans will be hoping that their new shirt sponsor will inspire a few thrills and spills next season.

Award winning crime writer Val McDermid has agreed to further her already deep involvement with the club by displaying her website address on the front of the home strip for what is shaping up to be the most exciting season in the Championship for many years.

Sponsor Val McDermid unveils the new Raith Rovers strip for the 2014/15 season.

Sponsor Val McDermid unveils the new Raith Rovers strip for the 2014/15 season.

Kirkcaldy born, lifelong fan Val is a member of the club’s board and is also continuing with her sponsorship of the North Stand.

She said: “It’s a way of supporting the club which does me a favour too by helping get my name out there. It’s a win-win.

“I grew up in a culture where there was the notion that if you did well, if you were lucky enough to have a talent and to be successful, then you should put something back into the community that nourished you, and this is a way of doing that.

“We did so well with the cup runs this season, people were really excited and were all talking about it. It is something that pulls the people of the town together and Kirkcaldy has had a few knocks in recent years - we need something to cheer us up.”

Val said she was excited at the prospect of a new season after what she described as a “rollercoaster” ride last year.

“We had good cup runs but weren’t doing too well in the league, but I think the cup runs have given us confidence,” she explained.

“We’ve already beaten Rangers and Hibs so we know we can do that again. I don’t think anyone has any fear over what the season holds. The team’s in good heart, there’s a lot of good energy about and a lot of people are very excited. “The amount of coverage the team is going to get next season is also going to inspire the guys to pull out their best.

“It’s definitely the league to watch and there’ll be a lot more people in the stadium which is also good for the club.”

Val said that more women like her getting involved in football could only be a positive thing.

“We do business in different ways, we have a different attitude to risk,” she said.

“Maybe we’ll take fewer chances with women running the game, be a bit more sensible, maybe manage budgets a wee bit better!

“Women bring a lot of sense into the boardroom, whether it’s football or anywhere else.

“It’s an uphill struggle but clubs like the Rovers have a very strong family atmosphere, so we hope mums and dads will come with their kids to the games.

“I think in football in general in the 80s and 90s it became somewhere where women didn’t feel entirely comfortable, but I think that’s changing again.”

With the club in a healthy state financially Val is hopeful that it will soon pay dividends on the pitch.

She added: “We’ve done the amazing trick of making the club break even, in fact, be in the black for the past two seasons and we’ve done that through careful husbandry.

“With a bit more coming through the turnstiles we’ll be able to be more adventurous on the pitch as well.”