This post is a nod to the Vinyl Villain who partly inspired me to start F&M.

The title for this entry is a slightly altered and corrected version of a famous line…

“They’ll be dancing in the streets of Raith tonight”

… which was uttered by the commentator: Sam Leitch after a significant victory in 1994.

Before I delve deeper into their past a quick note about their recent history:

I noticed about three weeks after it happened that Raith Rovers had won the Scottish 2nd Division title. I made a note to myself to post some things I had in relation to the club and recognition of this achievement when the new season started. Then I promptly forgot.
But it was fortuitous that I did because even though I had some material to post there was still one song I didn’t have, but now thanks to Steve at The Educated Left Foot for filling in this missing piece.

Back to the longer past then and a moment in time captured here:

Scott Thomson makes the save

For those of you not familiar with Scottish football in the mid-90’s… that was the Raith Rovers goalkeeper Scott Thomson making a save (after it was all square after extra time) and thus winning the League Cup for the Rovers.

– I found an interview in this Scotland on Sunday article where Thomson talks about that save:

“I remember in 1994 I kept looking at the clock and when Celtic scored the second goal I wondered if that was that but we fought back and got the equaliser to take it to extra time and penalties. I know some people say that cup finals pass by in a blur but I remember everything about that day – maybe that’s because it was the only medal I won – and I would love the United players to have the experience I had. In the penalty shoot-out, I didn’t get anywhere near the first three. Then I got a good hand to the fourth but the spin on it just took it inside the post. In games against the Old Firm you don’t get too many opportunities and I thought ‘please don’t let that be my only one’.Scott Thomson

“Luckily I finally did save one. When I looked at the referee I thought he was going to make him take it again but as he picked up the ball I realised he had just been signalling it was all over.”

Thomson took off towards the halfway line only to see his team-mates all running away from him. “They were heading off to celebrate with our fans and the only person waiting for me was Stevie Crawford! But that was just the start of it.

As we lined up to collect our medals and get the cup I looked around, wanting to take it all in because you never know if you will get the chance to experience that again.

When we went back into the dressing room guys were just sitting there trying to take it all in. It was actually pretty quiet but then the door opened slightly and someone pushed in a box of champagne and the party got under way.”

You can re-live and relieve those moments via YouTube.

Back then winning the Scotia League Cup got you into the UEFA Cup and the next season saw them playing Bayern Munich and for another moment in time, Raith were on-nil up at half time against them in the Olympiastadion.
» Read more about their exploits and the Munich game at the most excellent and very recommended website.

Extra note: I was actually living and working in Munich at the time but I can’t remember this game. I did go and see Bayern play a few times, but I have no recall of this match. Must have been getting snitfaced in Gunther Murphy’s or summat…

After their cup win, their UEFA exploits and selling a player Raith were able to generate enough money to redevelop their Stark’s Park ground. But they could not sustain the heights they had reached and a few years later were relegated from the Premier Division. Things got worse with another relegation in 2001/02 and then the danger of going out of existence all together. But there was a successful rescue and now the club is owned and run locally. A rare thing to see with football clubs these days.
One of the fans who assisted and now a shareholders is non other than the current Prime Minister Gordon Brown. Other well known supporters include the author Ian Rankin, the drummer from the Wedding Present and the bassist from Coldplay.

So to the music then…

Nothing from these notable musical fans (come on chaps, pull your finger out) but a few selections from a local band who have sung about Raith. I don’t know if it was done for their League Cup glory or if it was just done just because they are fans. Either way let me introduce you to Dennis and David, better known as Crooked Jack

Crooked Jack » Crooked Jack – The Raith Rovers Song

» Crooked Jack – The Best Team In The Land

» Crooked Jack – Geordie Munro

» The Continental Ceilidh

As the time of writing Raith Rovers are currently sitting pretty in 2nd place in Scotia Division 1.
The future is looking bright.

3 Replies to “Dancing On The Streets Of Kirkcaldy”

  1. Remember it well and have been to Starks Park a couple of times. Changing the subject slightly, for some reason today I found myself thinking of a tabloid headline after Celtic got dumped out of the Scottish Cup by Inverness Caledonian Thistle. It was 3-1 back in 2000 and the headline was “Super Caley Go Ballistic, Celtic Are Atrocious”.

  2. Thanks for the memories.

    Believe it or not, I missed that cup final. There was no way at the start of the season I would ever have imagined we would get there, and I had a long-haul holiday booked that I just couldnt get out of. Was at every other game in the run to the final mind you….

    The European experiences the following season wil never be forgotten. Munich is the one everyone talks about, but for me it was the previous round against Akranes of Iceland, where we lost 1-0 but went through 3-2 on aggregate, thanks to what I reckon was the best goalkeeping performance I’ve ever seen in my life, courtesy of Scott Thomson, not to mention the heroics of the other 10 men playing behind the ball as attack after attack came at us.

    And yes, we have made a great start to the season. After many years of struggle, there’s a real sense of purpose and pride about the club once more. But we’ve a long way to go yet if we’ve ever to return to the top league.

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