One of Raith Rovers’ footballing legends Steve McAnespie has demanded the club remove him from its hall of fame.
McAnespie, who played in the Rovers team that won the 1994 Scottish League Cup, said he had been left “disgusted” by the club’s decision to sign disgraced striker David Goodwillie.
The Raith Supporters Trust said the former defender has asked his lawyers to write to Raith Rovers asking for his name to removed from the hall of fame.
“I am disgusted. Disgusted by the signing of that player by the club I love,” the Raith legend said in a statement issued through the supporters’ group.
The move to sign Goodwillie, who was branded a rapist by a judge in 2017 during a civil court action, has prompted a wave of resignations and fan fury.
McAnespie said: “My lawyer is issuing a statement today, it needs more of our guys to make a stand. I have a daughter and we all have females in our life.
“The club statement was embarrassing, whoever wrote it needs to step down and apologise.
“I’m beyond livid.
“So many Raith fans are like me disgusted. They are stopping giving money to the club and many have contributed instead to the fundraiser for Rape Crisis Scotland helpline.
“Supporting all victims of this sort of act, victims who will be upset and appalled by events at Starks Park.”
Raith Rovers legend ‘livid’
“The fans, the volunteers, all those who have felt forced to step away or resign deserve better than this.
“Like so many who love the Rovers, I am horrified and deeply upset by this episode.
“I’m withdrawing my Hall of Fame membership with a heavy heart. I can’t be involved with an organisation that excuses that sort of behaviour.”
Following his retirement from Scottish football, McAnespie moved to the United States where he coached several US teams.
He said: “I’ve coached here in the USA since 2002 with boys, girls and young people at every age group.
“I’ve coached several women who’ve gone on to play for the USA. I have been involved in football all my working life promoting being both better players and better people.
“We are role models. Young people look to football players and clubs for examples of how to play, [how] to act, and to live.
“I know and understand how important a club’s reputation is,” he said.
McAnespie holds the record for the highest transfer fee ever received by the club for a player after Bolton Wanderers paid £900,000 in September 1995.
Raith Rovers have defended the decision to sign Goodwillie, saying his footballing ability was their “foremost consideration” while acknowledging the differing view among fans.