Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner. Facebook Messenger An icon of the facebook messenger app logo. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Facebook Messenger An icon of the Twitter app logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. WhatsApp Messenger An icon of the Whatsapp messenger app logo. Email An icon of an mail envelope. Copy link A decentered black square over a white square.

Ian Murray explains why Raith Rovers beat rivals Dunfermline to Lee Ashcroft signature – and gives Shaun Byrne injury update

Dundee defender Ashcroft was a player in demand before joining Rovers on loan.

Lee Ashcroft sits in the directors' box at Stark's Park in a Raith Rovers strip.
Dundee defender Lee Ashcroft joined Raith Rovers on loan for the rest of the season. Image: Tony Fimister / Raith Rovers.

Ian Murray has claimed Lee Ashcroft turned down more money on offer elsewhere to sign for Raith Rovers for ‘football reasons’.

The Dundee defender has joined the Kirkcaldy title challengers on loan for the remainder of the campaign in a further boost following last Friday’s 2-1 victory over Dundee United.

It is known that Fife foes Dunfermline were amongst the clubs also eager to sign the experienced former Kilmarnock stopper.

But the 30-year-old turned down the chance to join his old side, where he spent four years before joining Dundee.

Lee Ashcroft holds aloft a Raith Rovers scarf at Stark's Park.
Dundee defender Lee Ashcroft was also being chased by Dunfermline. Image: Tony Fimister / Raith Rovers FC.

And Murray is thrilled that yet another player who was also being chased by Championship rivals has been enticed to Stark’s Park to join a side now just a point off the top of the table.

Ashcroft’s Dundee team-mates Shaun Byrne and Zak Rudden, as well as on-loan Ross County midfielder Kyle Turner were all in demand before joining Rovers.

Murray told Courier Sport: “Lee’s a player we looked at in the summer, but he wasn’t available. To get him, finally, is great.

“We had to be patient with it, even over the January window, when he was playing for Dundee up until a couple of weeks ago because of their situation.

“But I’m delighted to get him in.

Ashcroft has ‘bags of experience’

“[Technical director] John Potter worked really hard on it, especially over the last three or four weeks.

“Lee’s got experience of winning this league and he’s got really good defensive attributes; he’s an out-and-out centre-half. There’s no messing about with him, that’s his position.

“And he’s done really well this season when he has played for Dundee, so we’re very happy to get him in.

“He’s got bags of experience, which is brilliant for us.”

Raith have been accused by some of ‘throwing money’ at their Championship tilt, but Murray is adamant that is not the case.

Lee Ashcroft throws his arms in the air as he celebrates levelling the scores for Dundee against Aberdeen.
Lee Ashcroft (No. 14) scores for Dundee against Aberdeen last month. Image: SNS

He added: “This was probably the hardest one, in terms of finances.

“I don’t want to talk too much out of turn but we weren’t the team offering him the most money, put it that way.

“Far from it, actually.

“So, it came down to him wanting to come here, which is great.

“Loan deals are not as easy as people think. Ashy [Ashcroft] has got another year at Dundee, on decent Premiership money as well.

‘A purely football decision’

“So, he had to think about the short-term future for himself, and that leading into the medium and longer-term.

“He’s based that on a purely football decision, which is really, really good.

“We had to obviously fight a few teams off for his signature, because probably everybody in the league would have liked to have signed him if they could.

“So, I’m delighted he chose us – and again we’ve kept well within our constraints, which is testament to the board and John [Potter].”

Having played 13 games for Dundee this season, including seven in the space of three weeks following the Premiership winter break, Ashcroft is fit and ready for his debut.

Zak Rudden celebrates his first goal in Raith Rovers colours.
Lee Ashcroft joins Dundee team-mate Zak Rudden in moving to Raith Rovers on loan. Image: SNS

Whether that comes on Saturday away to Ayr United or against Morton on Tuesday as Raith face three games in the space of just six days, remains to be seen.

Another whose selection against Ayr is in doubt is midfielder Shaun Byrne, who was left dazed by a head knock in the victory over United.

Murray explained: “We’ll assess Shaun. He’s been a bit groggy this week.

“It was nothing crazy, just an accident. We watched it back and he was completely unlucky.

“But he took a real sore one.

“You’ve just got to keep checking these things, especially when it comes to head injuries.”