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Raith Rovers spark controversy with signing of David Goodwillie

The striker's past has led to criticism from fans of the Championship club.

Raith Rovers spark controversy with signing of David Goodwillie SNS Group

Raith Rovers have signed striker David Goodwillie from Clyde but are facing a backlash from a section of their support over the transfer.

Goodwillie has made the deadline day move after a prolific five years at Clyde and counts Aberdeen, Blackburn Rovers and Dundee United among his former clubs.

However, Raith Rovers fans have taken to social media to express their dismay at the signing of the former Scotland international, who was branded a rapist in a civil court.

Goodwillie was ordered to pay £100,000 in damages by a judge in a civil court case in 2017 after it was ruled that he raped a woman at a flat in Armadale, West Lothian. The Crown had previously decided not to prosecute Goodwillie and his then-Dundee United colleague David Robertson due to insufficient evidence.

In 2008, Goodwillie was fined £250 for punching a man in a Stirling nightclub. Four years later he pled guilty to assaulting a man in Glasgow city centre.

When Rovers were linked with signing the striker in December, crime novelist Val McDermid, who sponsors the club’s shirts and the McDermid stand at Stark’s Park, urged the club to drop any plans, saying that Goodwillie was “not a role model in any sense”.

Following the signing announcement, fans took to Twitter to criticise the move, with many saying they would not be attending games as a result.

Announcing the player’s arrival, a statement on the club website said: “The club would like to welcome striker David Goodwillie to Raith Rovers FC as a signed player on a permanent deal until the end of season 2023-24.”

Raith Rovers manager John McGlynn said: “I have worked with David before and he has a proven track record as a goalscorer throughout his career at every level. We know from matches against Clyde in League 1 that he always carried a goal threat.

“Signing him, I believe, is crucial to the club’s promotion push in our quest to reach the SPFL Premiership – it is a great signing for Raith Rovers as a club, as David is the top goal scorer in Scotland.

“Every striker at the club will benefit greatly from his experience in matches and training”