Raith Rovers boss Ian Murray recounts classic Dick Campbell tale as he welcomes his and Neil Warnock's recent additions to the Scottish managerial ranks

With veteran gaffers Neil Warnock and Dick Campbell having been recently installed as the new managers of Aberdeen and East Fife respectively, Raith Rovers boss Ian Murray has welcomed their appointments and recounted a classic Campbell tale which sums up one of Scottish football’s truly great characters.
Dick Campbell takes in East Fife's 1-1 home league draw against Stenhousemuir last Saturday (Pic Kenny Mackay)Dick Campbell takes in East Fife's 1-1 home league draw against Stenhousemuir last Saturday (Pic Kenny Mackay)
Dick Campbell takes in East Fife's 1-1 home league draw against Stenhousemuir last Saturday (Pic Kenny Mackay)

"I don't know Dick very well in terms of just playing against him,” 42-year-old Stark's Park manager Murray said of his 70-year-old Bayview counterpart.

"What I will say is that, I remember being at Airdrie (whom Murray bossed between 2018 and 2022), we were up at Arbroath (where Campbell managed from 2016 to 2023) and they got two penalties and they were terrible penalties.

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"I remember Dick actually came over to my dugout, put his arm around me and said: 'I'm sorry, they're shockers, absolute shockers, they were never penalties'.

Neil Warnock pictured during Aberdeen's 2-1 league loss to Rangers at Ibrox on February 6 (Pic by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)Neil Warnock pictured during Aberdeen's 2-1 league loss to Rangers at Ibrox on February 6 (Pic by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)
Neil Warnock pictured during Aberdeen's 2-1 league loss to Rangers at Ibrox on February 6 (Pic by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

"But then in his after match interview he told everyone they were stonewallers. And I just thought: 'You cheeky so and so!'

"People can get a bit wrapped up in older guys getting managerial jobs.

"But on the flip side people moan when younger guys get the job too early so there's not much you can do, you'll never keep everybody happy.

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"I think guys like Dick and Neil Warnock bring so much experience, knowledge and wisdom to football that they're so invaluable to have.

Ian Murray is happy to see veteran management duo involved in Scottish football (Pic Fife Photo Agency)Ian Murray is happy to see veteran management duo involved in Scottish football (Pic Fife Photo Agency)
Ian Murray is happy to see veteran management duo involved in Scottish football (Pic Fife Photo Agency)

"It's totally different ends of the spectrum.

" East Fife are in League 2 and Aberdeen are in the Premier League.

"But it just goes to show you that these guys love football and love working with a team and getting them going again.

"The level is kind of irrelevant to them because they just want to try and be successful. So I think it's a good thing that Dick and Neil are back. Why not?

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"These guys have done far more than myself and a lot of other young managers in the game and deserve to be respected fully."

Murray said he has also been a fan of 75-year-old Warnock, with the veteran Englishman having joined Aberdeen as interim gaffer until the end of the season after serving in the dugouts of 15 English clubs over five decades.

The Raith gaffer added: "I don't know Neil Warnock although I look at some of his stuff in clips.

"I quite like the cut of his jib, in terms of how he gets boys going, how he's quite funny and he doesn't get wrapped up in all this new talk that managers and coaches can do.

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"Dick's the same. He was very, very successful at Arbroath, taking them from League 2 nearly into the Premier League which was a heck of an achievement.

"So I'm delighted to see Dick and Ian (Dick's brother and East Fife assistant manager) back in the dugout. I'm sure they'll get East Fife going and get them climbing that league a little bit."

When asked if the managerial longevity of Warnock and Campbell is an inspiration for him to keep going in management for several years, Murray said: "Absolutely 100%, yes. It's also a reminder that it goes really quickly.

"I remember Dick as a younger manager, I remember Neil Warnock as a younger manager, I'm talking about when they were in their mid 40s. It really does go in a flash.

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"In that time there's going to be loads of disappointments, there's going to loads of situations where there's downs.

"But there will be highs and there will be very, very funny moments.

"Being part of a team and being able to do we're doing we're really priviliged in terms of getting up in the morning and going into work with a smile on our face and doing the only thing that we really know to do, which is football."

Meanwhile, Murray revealed he was satisfied with the acquistions made by Raith during the January transfer window, when the Kirkcaldy side added midfielder Kyle Turner on loan from Ross County and striker Zak Rudden on loan from Dundee.

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These two were this week supplemented by the signing of right back James Brown on loan from St Johnstone.

"I'm really happy with the business we did in the transfer window,” he said.

"We looked into the positions that we felt we might need strengthening.

"Obviously Zak coming up was different. We didn't want to lose Hammer (Jamie Gullan) so when he left we had to try and replace him.

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"Kyle Turner being available was a bonus as well because we didn't really expect that one either.

"We had a wee look at defensive areas and the players that we looked at - we've not missed out on them - they just haven't become available.”

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