The day Raith Rovers’ ground hosted Scotland’s first floodlit cricket match

The first ever floodlit cricket game staged in Scotland was at Stark’s Park, home of Raith Rovers.

Thursday, 9th May 2019, 3:13 pm
This is the only image of the game in progress.
This is the only image of the game in progress.

It happened in September 1981, and was organised by Kirkcaldy Cricket Club.

Hopes were high of a 5000 attendance as big names from the sport joined celebs at the ground – but the Scottish weather conspired to thwart their ambitions.

Only 700 hardy souls braved atrocious conditions to watch a Scottish president’s XI take on an International XI.

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The teams who took part.

The groundbreaking match was a fundraiser for the cricket club with hopes of netting some £5000.

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Approximately 4000 tickets were printed, and some 2000 sold in the run-up to the game on September 24.

But, with just days to go, organisers were still frantically trying to land some big names.

Working with the famous Lords Taveners, cricket’s long established official charity, they were after legends such as Ian Botham, Fred Trueman and Brian Close.

In the end they got West Indian cricketer Vanburn Holder; Alan Dixon, ex-Kent and England, and Geoff Cope, Yorkshire and England.

Showbiz stars included actor Bill Simpson from Dr Finlay’s Casebook, American actor Jeremy Kemp, who appeared in the 1984 comedy action film Top Secret, and Robin Askwith, star of the infamous ‘Confessions’ series of British films.

The Scottish sde also featured Donald Ford, the former Hearts star who was an accomplished cricketer, and BBC Sportscene commentator, Archie McPherson.

Play was interrupted twice as the weather turned foul.

Radio celebrity, and BBC Test Match scorer, Bill Frindall, warmed the sparse crowd with his tales of the game and its characters.

The Ford/McPherson partnership steered the Scots to victory with one over to spare.