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Frank Connor dies at 86: Raith Rovers mourn passing of legendary former boss

Frank Connor passed away on Thursday
Frank Connor passed away on Thursday

Former Raith Rovers and Cowdenbeath manager Frank Connor has died at the age of 86, the Stark’s Park club have confirmed.

Connor passed away following a short illness and is survived by his wife Margaret, seven children, several grandchildren and a great grandson.

Originally from Airdrie, Connor will be remembered as one of the most influential bosses in modern Rovers history.

He took the reins in Kirkcaldy in March 1986 after leaving his position as assistant manager to Davie Hay at Celtic.

Connor, right, with Joe Jordan

Connor guided the club back to the Scottish First Division in his first full season in charge. The Fifers would go on to consolidate in the second tier.

He laid the foundations for iconic successes to come, as Jimmy Nicholl’s free-flowing side famously won the Coca-Cola Cup in 1994 before earning promotion to the Premier League.

Unbeaten Celtic boss

After leaving Rovers in 1990, Connor served as assistant boss at Hearts under Joe Jordan. He then returned to Celtic as part of Liam Brady’s coaching team.

Indeed, he took charge of four games in the time between Brady’s departure and the arrival of Lou Macari. Connor boasted an unbeaten record as Hoops boss, even overseeing a 2-1 win against Rangers.

Connor cut his teeth in coaching as player/boss of Cowdenbeath between 1974 and 1976, while his playing career took in spells with Celtic, Portadown, St Mirren, Derry City and Albion Rovers.

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