Raith Rovers: Val McDermid says she was 'lied to' over David Goodwillie signing

The famous Scottish crime writer has claimed that she was ‘lied to’ by a Raith Rovers board member in the signing of David Goodwillie.

Wednesday, 2nd February 2022, 4:16 pm

McDermind, who had supported the club since she was a baby, stopped supporting Raith Rovers as it signed David Goodwillie who was ruled to have raped a woman in a civil court case in 2017.

Scotland’s First Minister and the former UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown have also condemned the signing.

Speaking on BBC Women’s Hour on Wednesday, Val McDermid said ‘it was quite clear’ to her that the Fife club should not have signed someone who was ruled to be a rapist in a civil case and who ‘has never demonstrated a moment’s regret or responsiblity for what he did.’

The Scottish Crime writer went on to say that she was ‘lied to’ by a Raith Rovers board member ‘a few days’ before the signing took place.

She said: "When the subject first came up in local newspapers, I raised it with a board member last time I was at a game.

"They looked me straight in the eye and said, ‘The club has no interest in Goodwillie whatsover. I agree with you, we shouldn’t sign someone like that.’

"Next thing I know, (they are) negotiating his transfer so that’s the kind of people we are dealing with here.”

Val McDermid, the famous Scottish crime writer, has claimed that she was ‘lied to’ by a Raith Rovers board member in the signing of David Goodwillie (Photo: David Empson/Shutterstock).

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Raith Rovers have been contacted for comment on this allegation.

On Tuesday, Raith Rovers released a statement, saying that ‘David is a proven goalscorer’ and ‘the club has carefully considered our position as a community club.’

They added that the ruled rapist’s ‘footballing ability’ was there ‘foremost consideration’ in the decision.

McDermid said: "[David Goodwillie] is not someone to look up to. For the club to make this cynical decision on the basis of football issues seems to me to be appalling.

"What you should also take into consideration is there character and the message that sends to your support and beyond.

"As a writer of crime fiction, I truly understand rehabilitation and redemption – it’s one of the features of my books.

"But I also understand the power of crimes like this against the victims.

“Denise and all the other women who have been victimised by men who are sexually violent have got lost in all of this.”

McDermid said the story has ‘inflamed people’s passions’ as she has said her inbox has been ‘crammed’ with people showing their support of her decision to withdraw her support.

Asked if there is anything Mr Goodwillie can do or say, McDermid said: “He could start by apologising to Denise Clair, he could start by acknowledging the damage he did to her, he could start by acknoweledging the wrongness of his behaviour and how he is prepared to work hard in future to support work against violence against women.”

McDermid said the women in the club want to’completely distance themselves’ from Raith Rovers and are currently having new shirts printed without the Raith Rovers crest.

Ms McDermid’s name will not appear on Raith Rovers next season’s shirts after she cancelled her sponsorship for next season’s shirts.

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