I think I’ve mentioned this before on the blog, but I know for certain that any of you who are in the unfortunate position of reading my Facebook postings (under my Sunday name of James Clark) will be aware that I have certain responsibilities at any home matches for Raith Rovers FC, not least pulling together the pre-match music and shouting excitedly and incoherently over the tannoy system whenever we score a goal.

I’ve just finished my second season in the role of ‘Assistant Matchday Announcer’, having been asked by the bloke who has been doing things more or less on his own for 20 years to give him a helping hand and to work as a team in improving things for fans on the day, particularly pre-match and at half-time when he has pitch side duties.

I haven’t gone the whole hog and made all Stark’s Park experience akin to a visit to this blog – to do so would be an invitation to get fired.

It’s all about balance, trying to blend popular/populist tunes of vintage and modern eras of all genres with the remit to being to play ‘upbeat music’, and trying to crank up an atmosphere, particularly in the final minutes before kick-off. On some occasions, the musical choices are taken out of my hands as the club occasionally decides on a particular theme for a day and asks fans to make song suggestions along such lines – although I do get round this a wee bit by submitting my own suggestions but attributing these to the names of some of the TVV regulars – Drew has had his name used on at least three occasions and there’s probably someone in the club offices searching for his address to try and get him to take up a season ticket. I also have no qualms about using Jacques the Kipper for the same purpose, given he is a Stark’s Park regular, but at least it’s always a song that I know he would approve of.

I have managed to throw in a few curve balls at times, and off the top of my head have treated fans to the delights of The Fall, Say Sue Me, The Twilight Sad, Butcher Boy, Kid Canaveral, The Popguns, Withered Hand and Julian Cope among many others.

There are, however, certain traditions that have to be kept. It pains me to say that, post-match, all victories are greeted by Status Quo liking things and rockin all over the world, but there is no way I could ever change things.

For as long as I can remember, the team has taken to the pitch to one or other particular tunes.

Geordie Munro is a traditional song about an inhabitant of Kirkcaldy, the town in which Raith Rovers play their football (look it up on a map and it is on the east coast of Scotland, halfway between the cities of Edinburgh and Dundee). It is the tune which most fans want to hear and is the nearest thing we have to a club anthem. It’s our You’ll Never Walk Alone as sung by the fans of Liverpool FC.

The matchday announcer, over the years had moved away from Geordie Munro being the tune at kick-off on the basis that a modern almost dance version of it had been recorded by a group of fans as a way of raising money for charity and he was getting a bit of flak from them when he played the traditional version – he was on a hiding to nothing as anytime he played the modern version, loads of folk complained about it being an abomination and made the club a laughing stock.

His solution was to revert to another song which is sort of synonymous with the club, harking back to a true story from the early 1970s when a BBC sports presenter, upon reading out that Rovers had won a home match by something like 6-0, then remarked ‘they will be dancing in the streets of Raith tonight’, clearly unaware of the town the club is based.

The matchday announcer has long been a fan of the Live Aid version of the song, and so it was voices of David Bowie and Mick Jagger which were heard most weeks at the stadium. He occasionally did go with the original but would ditch it next time around if it had been aired before a game we didn’t go onto win (which was quite often!!).

I’m very pleased to say that I’ve phased all of that out and found a regular slot for this to air, some 10 minutes before the teams emerge from the tunnel:-

mp3 : Martha & The Vandellas – Dancing In The Street

It’s a belter of a tune and it must be up there as one of the coolest things you’ll now always hear on an visit to any sports stadium in the world. I’ll gloss over the fact that it tends to followed by some chart-hit dancey stuff by the likes of David Guetta, Calvin Harris or Rita Ora in the final few minutes as that’s the sort of stuff the young ballboys and ballgirls want to hear as they line up to form a guard of honour to welcome the teams. Oh and it’s also the music of our matchday mascot, Roary the Rover (whose picture is at the top of this posting) as he kind of likes a boogie just before kick-off and I’m not sure late 70s new wave/post-punk would fit the bill.




The 1994 Scottish League Cup Final was played on 27 November 1994, at Ibrox Stadium in Glasgow and contested by Raith Rovers and Celtic. Raith Rovers won the final on a penalty shootout after the match ended in a 2–2 draw.

Rovers were by far the underdogs playing in a division below the Glasgow side, albeit Celtic were going through a trophyless barren spell stretching back five years. Rovers took the lead in the 19th minute but found themselves going 2-1 behind in the 84th minute when Charlie Nicholas (now a well-known football pundit in the UK) netted from close range. The lead however lasted just two minutes as Rovers stunned the vast majority of the crowd thanks to a goal from all-time record scorer Gordon Dalziel (now a well-known football pundit in Glasgow) headed in from even closer range after an error from the Celtic keeper.

Extra time brought no goals and so went to penalties. The first 11 kicks were successfully converted before Paul McStay, the Celtic captain and regarded by all and sundry as a legend for club and country, saw his effort brilliantly saved by Scott Thomson in the Rovers goal.

Cue bedlam.

This was one of the biggest days in the history of the Rovers and was by far the biggest occasion since I had started going to watch them some six years earlier when my best mate had signed for them. But on 27 November 1994 I was thousands of miles away on a beach in Antigua, a holiday which had been booked some three months earlier when nobody ever imagined my team would make the final.

That particular Sunday was right in the middle of two-week break and while I did try to get it rescheduled through the travel agent it was going to be far too expensive. I might have made more of an effort if my mate hadn’t suffered a serious Achilles injury some six weeks earlier and was therefore never going to be fit for the game, and so I had to make do in that pre-internet age of continually phoning my mum and dad for updates from a beach bar and then watching the re-run on video when I got home a week later.

I did however, celebrate furiously on the day on the beach wearing my replica shirt very very proudly.

This is the song most belted out that day by the Rovers fans and I make no apologies for breaking my self-imposed non-google rule


PS : As is customary at this time of year, the Villains are about to go off on holiday as from 30 November; as such the postings for the next few weeks have been written well in advance and I’m sorry to say that I’m unlikely to be able to read any blog related e-mails or deal with any queries from the postings until mid-December.

mp3 :  Orange Juice – Holiday Hymn