Martin Harvey: Former Raith Rovers coach dies aged 78

Martin Harvey, former assistant manager of Raith Rovers, has died at the age of 78.
Martin Harvey, former assistant manager of Raith Rovers, has died at the age of 78.

Martin Harvey, the assistant manager of Raith Rovers during the 1990s glory years, has died at the age of 78.

'Harv' was a key part of Jimmy Nicholl’s management setup in the League and Cup winning sides of the 1990s, and was greatly respected by all during his time at Stark’s Park.

He was also in the dug-out when Rovers took their first, and so far only steps into Europe, famously leading Bayern Munich at half-time in the Olympic Stadium before going on to lose 4-1 on aggregate.

Martin played for Sunderland for his entire career from 1959 to 1972, mainly as a wing half before having to retire at the age of 30 due to injuries. In that time he won 34 caps for Northern Ireland, scoring three goals.

His coaching career started at Sunderland on his retiral from playing before moving to Carlisle in the late 1970s.

1980 saw him take over at Carlisle caretaker manager to replace Bobby Moncur (saving the club from relegation) before securing the job on a permanent basis.

Next stop saw Martin join Plymouth Argyle in 1981, again as assistant manager to Bobby Moncur before he got the call to get involved in international football again at the 1982 World Cup in Spain as assistant manager to Billy Bingham

It was in the international set-up that he first worked with Jimmy Nicholl, and he again served as assistant manager with his country at the 1986 World Cup in Mexico.

In 1990 Jimmy Nicholl was appointed manager of Raith Rovers, with Harvey being one of his first signings to help the novice manager in his first managerial role.

Harv was widely credited with being the driving force in the fledgling stages of Nicholl’s career, and he was a popular figure at the club during his time, which also coincided with Raith's most successful period ever.

Following Nicholl’s resignation from Stark’s Park, Martin joined him at Millwall as his assistant, which proved to be his last job in the game before he retired to live in Devon.