Hall of Fame induction was a real ‘Surprise, Surprise’ moment ...

John McStay in action for Rovers in the 1980s
John McStay in action for Rovers in the 1980s

John McStay has been chosen by Raith Rovers supporters as the next club legend to enter the Hall of Fame.

“Jock” as he is better known, is the fourth name to be chosen to be inducted at November’s sell-out show alongside other winners of the public vote, David McGurn and Frank Connor, and Joe Baker who was chosen by the organising committee of Allan Crow, Alistair Cameron, Willie MacGregor and Ally Gourlay.

It’s very, very pleasing to know it came from the fans. They are brilliant

John McStay

His induction was announced at Sunday’s annual Ronnie Coyle memorial dinner where Jock was a guest and speaking to the Press he said it came as a total surprise.

“I’m just shocked,” he said. “It was a real Cilla Black ‘Surprise, Surprise’ moment!

“I was just genuinely shocked. It was very emotional and I had to bite my lip.

“It’s very, very pleasing to know that it came from the fans. That’s really nice to know.”

Jock was signed by Frank Connor from Motherwell in 1987 in Rovers’ first season back in the First Division having won promotion the season before.

“I was actually signed by Frank to play in midfield but I had a few games at right back in pre-season and he kept me there,” Jock said.

“Actually I was surprised to get in to the first team so quickly because I think Frank saw me as one for the future.”
Having enjoyed working under Connor Jock said there was a period of adjustment when he left to go to Hearts and new boss Jimmy Nicholl took over.

“When Jimmy came in it was tough at first.

‘‘He made a few changes to the team which didn’t quite work as he’d hoped so he reverted back to the old guard and then we went on from there and just got better and better.

Jock has fond memories of the 1992/93 when Rovers won promotion to the Premier League and played some great football along the way.

“That was probably the highlight of my time at the club. It was without a doubt a special season.

“We went on a long unbeaten run which was great. In fact we started off that season by beating St Mirren 7-0 and they’d just come down from the Premier League.

“I remember having a feeling that day that we were going to do something that season.

Jock says that he had a special rapport with the fans during his time at the club.

“I really loved scoring. That was always something that I remember enjoying at Rovers because my attitude was I was playing for the fans.

“I always got on well with the fans there. They are brilliant.

“I would sometimes leave tickets for them if they were short of a few quid and I would go out for a drink and talk with them as well.

“I just loved the place. It was brilliant and undoubtedly the best time of my playing career.”

Jock left the club in 1994 after making 262 appearances and scoring an impressive 20 goals. He finally retired in 2003.

A Celtic fan, Jock is now employed as a maintenance worker at Celtic Park, “I’ve been doing it for about eight years and I love it”, but says he will always have a special place in his heart for Raith Rovers, and isn’t afraid to show it.

“All my work gear has the Celtic badge on it but the last time Rovers were through in the cup I made sure I had my Rovers badge on as well!”

Jock says he’s now looking forward to the Hall of fame night in November.

“I’m actually going on holiday to Egypt this week and this is going to make the holiday even better.

“I’ve been on a total high since I found and I can’t wait for the Hall of Fame night.”

2015 show starts to take shape with great inductees

John McStay will join a number of legends to be inducted at the Hall of Fame show at the Adam Smith Theatre on Monday, November 9.

It’s the fourth annual event - and the fastest selling to date, with all tickets snapped up in little over 24 hours.

Top billing this year goes to Joe Baker who made his name with Hibs and Torino in Italy, where his room-mate was Dennis Law.

Baker was a renowned goalscorer whose footballing CV included a spell with Rovers.

Inductees this year also include former manager Frank Connor and the late Turnbull Hutton - two men who have been driving forces off the pitch across the last few decades.

The organisers still have some inductees to unveil - and reveal the big names from the world of football who will join them on stage and in the audience.

Guest speakers at previous Hall of Fame nights have included Gordon Strachan, Graeme Souness, Liam Brady, Charlie Nicholas and Sky Sports presenter, Jeff Stelling.

Guests from the world of football have included Billy McNeil, Craig Levein, former Scotland boss Craig Brown, and a host of famous faces from Raith Rovers’ illustrious past.