Val McDermid ends Raith Rovers sponsorship over Goodwillie signing

The crime fiction author said the player's presence is a 'stain on the club'.

Val McDermid has ended her lifelong support and sponsorship of Raith Rovers after the club signed David Goodwillie.

The crime fiction author branded the move to sign the striker, who was ruled to be a rapist in a civil court case, “disgusting and despicable”.

The 66-year-old’s website has been the club’s shirt sponsor since 2014.

In the fallout from the signing, Raith Rovers women’s team captain, Tyler Rattray, also announced that she would be quitting the club, saying that she wanted “nothing to do with it”.

Goodwillie joined the Kirkcaldy side on a two-and-a-half-year deal from Clyde on transfer deadline day.

McDermid had previously urged the club not to sign the player, who 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 West Lothian.

He was also fined £250 in 2008 for punching a man in a Stirling nightclub.

Four years later, he pled guilty to assaulting a man in Glasgow city centre.

On Tuesday, McDermid criticised Raith over the move to sign Goodwillie, as well as announcing that she would be ending her shirt sponsorship of the club.

“I have this morning ended my lifelong support of @RaithRovers over their signing of the rapist David Goodwillie,” she wrote on Twiter.

“I have cancelled next season’s shirt sponsorship over this disgusting and despicable move. This shatters any claim to be a community or family club.

“Goodwillie has never expressed a shred of remorse for the rape he committed. His presence at Starks Park is a stain on the club. I’ll be tearing up my season ticket too.

“This is a heartbreaker for me and many other fans, I know.”

Rape Crisis Scotland said: “This has no doubt been an incredibly difficult decision for @valmcdermid but it is one we support wholeheartedly. When it comes to sexual violence we need zero tolerance.”

In response to the signing, Raith Rovers fans set up a Just Giving page to fundraise for Rape Crisis Scotland.

The fundraiser surpassed its £1000 target within a few hours of being set up.

Following the remarks by McDermid, Tyler Rattray, the captain of the Raith Rovers women’s team, announced that she would be quitting the club after a decade.

She wrote on Twitter: “After ten long years playing for raith, it’s gutting I have given up now because they have signed someone like this and I want nothing to do with it! It was good being captain of raith while it lasted.”

Raith Rovers Supporter Liaison Officer Margie Robertson also announced she had resigned.

She said: “Due to recent developments within the club I have today tendered my resignation as SLO/DAO.

“My values and that of the club are now on a divergent path. I would like to thank everyone who has encouraged me and helped me through out my tenure. I have enjoyed meeting so many fans.”

The First Minister praised the “principled” stances taken by crime author Val McDermid and women’s team captain Tyler Rattray.

Nicola Sturgeon tweeted: “The stances that @valmcdermid and women’s team captain @Tyler_RattrayX have taken are principled – though difficult for both of them.

“But the fact they’re in this position at all reminds us that our society still has a way to go to make zero tolerance of sexual violence a reality”

SNP MP Gavin Newlands also hit out at the move to sign the player, calling it “mind numbingly stupid”.

He wrote on Twitter: “Predictably many many Raith fans will no longer turn up, but surely away fans will also organise boycotts of Starks Park, costing the club significant sums of money. Their moral & community leadership has gone.

“The bank balance will be heading that way too. Mind numbingly stupid.”

After the signing announcement, 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”


Rape Crisis Scotland

  • Telephone: 08088 01 03 02
  • Mobile: 07527 410 027
  • Email:
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