David Goodwillie signing: Raith Rovers board vs Val McDermid was only ever going to produce one winner – Susan Morrison

To me, Raith Rovers always sounded like one the teams Roy of the Rovers would be drawn against.

Raith Rovers made a big mistake if they though the formidable Val McDermid would keep quiet about the signing of David Goodwillie (Picture: Craig Foy/SNS Group)
Raith Rovers made a big mistake if they though the formidable Val McDermid would keep quiet about the signing of David Goodwillie (Picture: Craig Foy/SNS Group)

It had a faintly mythical, comic book quality to me. I bet they wish they could redraw the last few weeks right now.

What did the board of Rovers think would happen when Val McDermid found out that they had signed a player who had been found seriously wanting in the behaviour department?

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Were they planning to disguise Goodwillie when he ran out for the team one day? “Listen, mate, I realise this isn’t official kit, but it’s a tradition here that everyone who turns out for their first ten or 15 games has to wear this lucky ginger wig and false beard. Yeah, I know, it's itchy, but you’ll get used to it.”

Did the Raith board think Val wouldn’t notice? She writes crime novels. Detail is her thing.

She knows her footy and loved her team, which makes me think that whoever signed the unfortunately named Goodwillie thought he was dealing with some wee wumman who’d just put up and shut up. Ms McDermid is a magnificent woman. The word ‘formidable’ was coined to describe her.

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She’s not just some girly sitting in the stands. This is Val McDermid. She’s incredibly kind and generous, but she is also the author of books dripping with literary blood.

There are a few scenes in her novels where I had to stop reading and take a deep, deep breath before I started again. Oh, and make a mental note never to rile Ms McDermid, because if bumping people off was a proficiency test, she’s passed the theory.

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Naturally, she has told Raith where to get off, and taken her cash to the new McDermid Ladies, which I now feel I must support. I am available to other ladies teams in a cheering capacity, should you wish me to turn up on your stands and shout encouragement.

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But then, why should they play nice? Down in England they have a footballer who kicked his cat across the kitchen floor while being filmed so the rest of the world could see Mr Zouma was not in the running for Cat Owner of the Year.

Premier league footballers used to be known for late-night clubbing, buying ridiculous cars to get to work and having girlfriends who apparently weighed less than the designer bags they sported.

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These lads got done by the police for speeding, fell foul of the FA for booting each other on the pitch and got fined for arguing with the ref. What they did not get was a lightning raid by the RSPCA to confiscate their family pets.

Still, there is a silver lining. In a good, clean tackle, the town of Kirkcaldy took the moral high ground from clean under the Raith board’s feet. They stood with Val McDermid to say firmly but politely that even if yer laddie here had the playing skills of the love child of Maradona and Pele, he’s not wearing the Rovers jumper. Even with a fake beard.

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And down in England, they may forgive the fast cars and the punch-ups on the pitch, but booting a moggie is not cool for cats.

Nice to see boys who behave badly being held accountable.

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