Gordon Wallace: tributes paid after death of much loved Raith Rovers forward who made over 300 appearances
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A native of Edinburgh, Gordon was brought up in the Clermiston area of the city. Gordon played for Penicuik Athletic juniors and reached the Scottish Cup final in 1970. Blantyre Victoria won 1-0 replay after a 1-1 draw. He played alongside goalkeeper Murray McDermott and winger Malcolm Robertson, who both joined Gordon in signing for Rovers.
Jimmy Millar signed Gordon on April 4, 1970, but the transfer was delayed due to Penicuik’s cup-run, and at the time Jimmy commented, “Gordon is a hard-working inside-forward, with great stamina. He never gives up and uses the ball well”.
He made his Rovers’ debut in a pre-season friendly against Hartlepool at the Victoria Ground. He scored his first goal for the club, four days later, in a return friendly. He netted 12 goals in his first season with the club.
Over the next seven seasons, Gordon proved himself to be very popular and prolific goal scorer. He was a true fans’ favourite and was part of the team that won promotion to the Scottish First Division in season 1975/76 under Andy Matthew.
His goal scoring record caught the attention of Dundee United manager Jim McLean who signed him for £12,000 in October 1977. His time at Tannadice was blighted by injuries and he made only 15 appearances scoring three goals before moving to Berwick Rangers where he made 19 appearances scoring three times. His final club in Scotland was Cowdenbeath, where he made 11 appearances scoring one goal.
Gordon then emigrated with his family to Australia, where he played for the Melbourne club Green Gully.
His popularity at Raith Rovers has lasted to the present day. He was always a welcome visitor to Stark’s Park on return journeys to Scotland. He attended games and dinners hosted by Rovers’ Down South and the Raith Rovers’ Former Players’ Association.
His daughter Karen was in regular contact with various supporters and kept him informed of the club’s fortunes in recent times as his health deteriorated. She explained, “Raith Rovers meant the world to him.”
Gordon is survived by his wife Diane and daughter Karen and sons Dean and Bradley. His grandchildren are Danny, Jordan, Ryan, Brittany, Millie, Scarlett, Corbin and Matilda.