Raith Rovers' Sam Stanton says love for his fiancée and three kids is providing extra inspiration in Scottish Championship title bid

Life is very good on and off the pitch for Raith Rovers midfielder Sam Stanton right now, in a season which has seen him score four times against arch rivals Dunfermline Athletic and celebrate with his trademark cupped ‘love’ hand symbol raised in recognition of his fiancée Mhairi and three kids Nathan, Callen and Ayda.
Raith's Sam Stanton acknowleges his love for Mhairi, Nathan, Callen and Ayda after scoring against Dunfermline this season (Pic Fife Photo Agency)Raith's Sam Stanton acknowleges his love for Mhairi, Nathan, Callen and Ayda after scoring against Dunfermline this season (Pic Fife Photo Agency)
Raith's Sam Stanton acknowleges his love for Mhairi, Nathan, Callen and Ayda after scoring against Dunfermline this season (Pic Fife Photo Agency)

Ex-Hibernian, Dundee United, Phoenix Rising and Dundalk midfielder Stanton, 29, has an outstanding overall record of seven goals and nine assists from 32 Raith appearances this term and he credits a lot of it to his happiness away from football, with Mhairi giving birth to Ayda last spring to join Nathan and Callen whom he had in a previous relationship.

"Becoming a dad again was an amazing feeling,” Stanton told the Fife Free Press. “Obviously it's great and I've got three kids now which is really hard work but it's really rewarding and has provided me with that added bit of inspiration so it's been brilliant.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

"That goal celebration is done with my family in mind. Obviously they do a lot for me in terms of supporting football which is not easy at times.

"There are a lot of sacrifices that they - as well as me - need to make so it's a little thank you to them every time that I score. It's the least I feel I can do for them and something that I will always continue to do now.

“Mhairi takes Ayda, Nathan and Callen to Stark's Park for the games whenever she can, so they're there quite often. They are usually watching.

"Mhairi is at most of the games, home and away.

"She is not overly into football but obviously she's supporting me and is very happy when I score or when we win, she shares that with me which is great. It's a really nice feeling getting her support.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

"On the rare occasions that Raith have lost this season, my family have put those defeats into perspective.

"Obviously there's a lot more to life than football. When it comes down to it, I think your family's far more important than football.

"It's always nice to come home regardless of scorelines and have your family there.”

After a free Saturday this weekend, Stanton and his second-placed Raith team-mates will return to Scottish Championship action at leaders Dundee United this Saturday, kick-off 3pm, in a key battle to see who wins the title.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Although United and Raith are currently level on points, the Arabs can put daylight between themselves and Ian Murray’s team in the interim as they host Inverness Caledonian Thistle in the league this Saturday.

Rovers will ultimately go into the United match with an excellent league record against the title favourites so far this season, having drawn 1-1 at Stark’s Park in October before winning 1-0 at Tannadice in December and prevailing 2-1 at Kirkcaldy in February.

"It's good for us because we know that we can beat Dundee United, having done it twice already,” Stanton added. "I think it's good that we don't have the weight of expectation that Dundee United have.

"We've just kind of kept in there and I think we have been written off a few times throughout the season.

"People didn't think we'd still be where we are now.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

"It's kind of testament to how we've been this season, we've done really well.

"Obviously there's a bit more pressure on them with the budget they have and the players they have, but we are putting expectation on ourselves as well now as a group.

"We've got this far and we want to try and get over the line, so hopefully we can do that.

"It doesn't really matter who we're playing, we always feel that we can put in a good performance and give any team a good game.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

"We're all looking forward to it and it's going to be a massive game.

"It would be great if I could get the winning goal. I would take any win, I don't care who scores.

"I always believe in my ability to contribute, not just in this year but in other years.

"I've been on a good bit of form and it helps when the team's doing really well as well.

"Fingers crossed we can get it done."

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.