Sweeney’s star role as he returns for Raith Rovers Hall of Fame

Paul Sweeney
Paul Sweeney

One of Raith Rovers heroes of the early 80s will be inducted into the club’s hall of fame this November.

Whilst it may not have been the most successful time for the team, Paul Sweeney is fondly remembered for his swashbuckling performances in 257 games for the side.

Paul Sweeney (centre) in action for Raith Rovers

Paul Sweeney (centre) in action for Raith Rovers

Born in Glasgow in 1965, Paul signed schoolboy forms at Stark’s Park in 1980, and made his first team debut three years later under manager Gordon Wallace.

“I’ve got really good memories of that time,” he said, “Looking back it was probably the best time of my football career playing with Raith Rovers.

“I was only part-time, but if you speak to a lot of players around my age who played then, it was never about the money. None of us were millionaires, but we enjoyed our football and I’ve lots of happy memories.

“When I first went into the team there was big Donald Urquhart and Chris Candlish, who I think was under-rated as a player.

“Then as time went in there were Hamish McAlpine, John McStay, Gordon Dalziel and Ronnie Coyle – all good players.”

Paul credits an improvement in his play with the arrival of Frank Connor as manager.

“When Frank came he changed a lot. He certainly changed my career, I got a lot fitter under Frank.

“He made Raith Rovers a lot more professional – he was old school and he was a big part in getting me the move to Newcastle United and playing at a higher level.”

Paul signed for the Magpies in 1989 for £100,000, one of the first Rovers players to earn a big money move down south and says: “I don’t think you realise what you’ve got until it’s gone!

“Newcastle is an absolutely massive club. I still live in the city.”

He says he feels “very privileged” to be inducted into the Hall of Fame.

“It’s such a nice thing to think of, that you’re remembered fondly and people appreciated what I did for the club,” he said.