Tony Rougier’s 4000-mile journey to join Raith Rovers’ Hall of Fame

Tony Rougier,  Raith  Rovers (Pic: Bill Dickman/Fife Free Press)
Tony Rougier, Raith Rovers (Pic: Bill Dickman/Fife Free Press)

Tony Rougier will travel over 4300 miles to be inducted into Raith Rovers’ Hall of Fame next month.

He will make the journey from Trinidad to Kirkcaldy for the 2018 show at the Adam Smith Theatre.

Tony Rougier playing for Hibs against Celtic's Henrik Larsson (Pic: Ian Rutherford./TSPL)

Tony Rougier playing for Hibs against Celtic's Henrik Larsson (Pic: Ian Rutherford./TSPL)

Rougier is one of six inductees lined up for the annual celebration of Rovers’ greatest players and managers.

He will be joined by Chris Candlish, Keith Wright, Paul Smith, Scott Thomson and Ian Porterfield.

And one of them will be revealed on the night as the Gourlay Inductee – named in memory of the late Ally Gourlay, who helped to launch the event in 2012

Rougier’s 8000-mile round trip brings him back to Kirkcaldy where his UK career began, and where he made such a positive impression on the fans.

He grew up in a town where cricket was the number one sport, but football was his passion.

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He spent a year working as a baggage handler in New York before the UK beckoned.

His plans to join Bradford City were scuppered when he couldn’t secure a work permit, and Rovers came into the equation thanks to his friend, Jerry Nixon who was playing across the Tay with Dundee United.

While the Fife dialect was a challenge initially, he arrived with perfect timing, joining the club as it embarked on its legendary European adventures.

He played in those legendary games against Bayern Munich, and went on to make 81 appearances, scoring 14 goals.

He was part of Rovers 1994-95 promotion winning team, and enjoyed three seasons at Stark’s Park before joining Hibs in 1997 in a £250,000 transfer which saw Keith Wright and Cameron move to Stark’s Park.

Life at Easter Road saw him propelled into the famous Edinburgh derby matches, while there were regular long-haul flights back to Trinidad to play for his country – he was capped 67 times, and narrowly missed out on a place in the 2006 World Cup squad.

Rougier also enjoyed a solid career in English football, joining Port Vale in 1999 and then Reading, Brentford and Bristol City.

He then travelled the world once more to briefly ply his trade in China and then the USA where he played with Rochester Rhinos before returning to Trinidad with United Petrotrin – the club where it all started.

In 2009, he co-founded FC South End, the newest club to compete in the TT Pro League.

John Greer said: “We are delighted Tony is making the journey to join us on the night – it’s certainly the furthest anyone has ever trasvelled to be at a Hall of Fame show!

“I know he will be given the warmest welcome from fans who remember his performances in a great Rovers team.”