A night to honour Raith Rovers legends ... and remember a true friend

Stevie Crawford celebrates scoring for Raith Rovers
Stevie Crawford celebrates scoring for Raith Rovers

The last-minute preparations are being made and the final inductee has been named for this year’s star-studded Raith Rovers Hall of Fame.

Stevie Crawford has been revealed as this year’s headline inductee.

Hall of Fame guest Paul Merson

Hall of Fame guest Paul Merson

The Coca-Cola Cup hero will be joined by goalkeeping hero Murray McDermott, defender Marvin Andrews, the long-serving Donald Urquhart, Peter Hetherston, who served as both player and manager, and title winning former manager Antonio Calderon, who will be inducted in front of a full house at the Adam Smith Theatre.

It’s an honour Crawford richly deserves.

The striker joined the club as a youngster and would go on to score 22 goals over 115 appearances.

He also played for his country and in the Premiership.

Phil Thompson during his time as Liverpool's assistant manager

Phil Thompson during his time as Liverpool's assistant manager

John Greer said: “Stevie came in under Jimmy Nicholl who was keen to work with young players.

“There were also a lot of great characters in the dressing room at that time like Ronnie Coyle and Gordon Dalziel who did some of Jimmy’s work for him with youngsters like Stevie.

“He broke into the first team around the same time as Colin Cameron and Jason Dair and they brought an athleticism and energy to the side.

“All three held their own in that side, and Stevie was a hugely important part of it.

“It was a great time for Rovers and his role was integral.”

During his four years at the club, Crawford would score one of the most famous goals in the club’s history – the opener in the 1994 Coca-Cola Cup final victory over Celtic.

John said: “Stevie is a very humble man and doesn’t like too much fuss to be made over him.

“He’s reluctant to be seen as ‘Billy Big Time’ but, as well as scoring that famous goal in the Coca-Cola Cup final, when he won his first Scotland cap in 1995 against Ecuador in the Kirin Cup, he was the first Rovers player to play for Scotland in 40 years ... and he scored!

“That says it all really.”

Crawford, who is currently assistant to first team coach Robbie Neilson at Hearts, went on to play for the national side 25 times, scoring four goals.

In a career that saw him play in England as well as Premiership sides Dundee United and Aberdeen he would also turn out for all of Fife’s five professional sides.

“That makes him the member of a very unique club,” John said, “there aren’t many players who’ve played for all Fife teams.

“His inclusion into the Hall of Fame this year is well merited.”

The gala evening broke box office records at the Adam Smith Theatre when all tickets were sold out in just over an hour of going on sale last November.

And the stage is now set for a glittering fifth annual show.

It will be hosted once again by Bill Leckie, who will be joined by John Greer and up to 30 Rovers legends on stage.

And the committee – John, Allan Crow, Willie MacGregor and Alistair Cameron – have been working hard to make it another night to remember.

They have signed up two great VIP guests.

Former England stars turned Sky Sports pundits Phil Thompson and Paul Merson, who played for Liverpool and Arsenal respectively, will be on stage at the Adam Smith to share stories from their glittering careers.

The night will also include a special tribute to Ally Gourlay, inductee, event organiser and ‘Mr Raith Rovers’, who died earlier this year.

“It’s been an odd few months because this is obviously the first show without Ally,” said Alistair. “It’s been quite strange for everyone involved and it’ll make it an emotional night for us, but we’re looking forward to it.”

Alistair said they are “all set” for Monday’s show.

“I think people will like the stage setting. It’s a bit different this year.

“One thing about us is that we’re never over confident. We’re really self critical but now we’ve got the format and we know who is coming so we’re as ready as we can be.”

There will also be special induction of two players who died in World War One.

The organisers made a commitment to induct those who made the ultimate sacrifice on the 100th anniversary of their death.

This year they will induct Jimmy Scott and Jimmy Todd who were among seven players from Rovers to join the McCrae’s Battalion.

Members of their families will be in attendance to receive their Hall of Fame trophies.

And there is no time to waste if you’d like to take a seat for the Hall of Fame 2017.

Tickets go on sale ... next week!

The show isn’t until November 6 next year – but the such is the demand, seats go on sale on Saturday, November 12 at 10am.

They will be available from the box office at the Adam Smith Theatre only – there is NO online sale – and will be limited to four per person.

They are expected to sell out extremely quickly.

Alistair Cameron said: “The Adam Smith Theatre asked that we put tickets on sale as early as possible.

“This will help to avoid any clash with its busy pantomime period .

“We want to let people know as soon as possible and we specifically went for a Saturday.

“The theatre will be bringing in extra staff to cope with demand.”

Last year’s show sold out in a record 90 minutes.