Stark’s Park hosts a unique match on Sunday - the first one staged in memory of a fan.
Ally Gourlay was a hugely loved figure at Raith Rovers where he was the club’s media officer, historian, match day host and much, much more,
A lifelong fan, he was diagnosed with terminal cancer and given just six months to live.
Hi enjoyed almost two full years during which he shunned treatment, and focussed on living - and in doing so earned the love and respect of everyone.,
He died in February aged just 53, and, on Sunday, over 40 Raith legends will take part in #Allysgame with proceeds to Maggie’s Fife and Raith Youth Development.
Here’s 10 things you need to know about the game.
1. Come along!
It’s pay at the gate - £10 for adults, £5 for kids. The turnstiles to the Turnbull Hutton stand will be open.
2. Read all about it
The organisers have put together a special souvenir programme celebrating Ally’s life. It features articles from a number of people who knew him well, plus Ally’s own Rovers’ story in his own words - and some fantastic pics from his family album. It costs just £2.
3. Meet the bosses
If you have teams then you need managers - and two former Raith bosses, John McGlynn and Jimmy Nicholl, will be in the dug outs ... and they both want to win!
4. Stars, stars and more stars
Almost 49 players have indicated they are attending - with more in the stands. John Greer, from Raith’s Hall of Fame, has signed them up - so come along and see John Dailly, Gary O’Connor, Paul Browne, Peter Hetherson, John McStay, Stevie Kirk, Paul Smith, Graham Weir, Dougie Hill, Jason Dair, Keith Wright, Ray McKinnon, Ally Graham, Shaun Fennis, Liam Fox ... and many, many more! We’re still taking calls from players who want to be there to be part of the afternoon.
5. Internationalists galore!
Marvin Andrews, Stevie Crawford, Colin Cameron ... plus a FIFA referee, John Rowbotham ... not bad for starters!
6. Applause for Ally
The players will wear jerseys #53 and, in the 53rd minute we will stop for a minute’s applause in memory of Ally who died, aged 53.
7. Special guests
We’re delighted to welcome Ally’s sons, Jonny and Matthew who will play in the game along with Bill Leckie of The Scottish Sun, and our own Hall of Fame show host - he’ll be donning his boots for a stint in the middle of the park!
8. Take a seat
Fans will be accommodated in the Turnbull Hutton Stand, but once that fils up - and we hope it does - then we’ll use the south stand, so come along and help create a great atmosphere on a very special day.
9. Proceeds to ...
Maggie;’Fife is the main beneficiary from #Allysgame. Ally was an ambassador for the centre, spoke at dinners and gave his time freely in return for the help and support staff gave to him following his cancer diagnosis. There will also be a bucket collection run by volunteers from Maggie’s so please give generously - every penny you give goes directly to Maggie’s Fife. The game will also see a donation made to Raith Youth development.
10. Behind the scenes
The game has been organised by the Raith Hall of Fame team, of which Ally was a huge part. It has the support and help of the club with staff and many volunteers all playing their part - and it has some great sponsors on board including SIIS, Gordon Dak and Piper Plumbing. We are hugely indebted to them all.