Raith Rovers Women to split from club after signing of ruled rapist David Goodwillie

The Raith Rovers women’s team is to split from the club after the signing of ruled rapist David Goodwillie

The Raith Rovers women’s team is to split from the club after the signing of ruled rapist David Goodwillie.

Raith Rovers have come under extreme backlash after announcing the signing of Goodwillie, who was found in 2017 to have raped a woman.

In the wake of the news, women’s team captain Tyler Rattray resigned, and the club’s shirt sponsor Val McDermid withdrew her support in protest.

McDermid, best-selling crime author and long-term fan of Raith Rovers, has now revealed the women’s team will split from the club.

“They want to completely distance themselves from Raith Rovers Football Club,” she said on BBC Woman’s Hour.

“They are currently, as we speak, having new shirts printed that don’t have the Raith Rovers crest on them. They are committed to playing their fixture on Sunday not at Stark’s Park, the Raith Rovers ground, but at another ground in the town at the Windmill pitches.

“They are talking about changing the name of the club but that is something they will have to discuss with Scottish women’s football.”

McDermid also revealed she would now be fully backing the female players.

“They are adamant that they no longer want to be associated with Raith Rovers and that is where I am focusing my attention now.”

McDermid previously called her decision to split from Raith Rovers as a “heartbreaker”. She became the club’s shirt sponsor back in 2014 and also has a stand named after her at Stark’s Park.

“I have this morning ended my lifelong support of Raith Rovers over their signing of the rapist David Goodwillie,” McDermid wrote on Twitter. “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.”

Goodwillie and former teammate David Robertson were accused of raping a woman, Denise Clair, on a night out in 2011. Goodwillie was charged but not prosecuted, on the grounds of insufficient evidence.

After Clair took civil action against the footballers in 2016, they were both ruled to have raped her and ordered to pay £100,000 in compensation.

Goodwillie and Robertson denied the events took place and appealed against the ruling, but they were unsuccessful. Robertson retired from football shortly after the case concluded.

Raith Rovers announced the signing of Goodwillie on a two-and-a-half year deal earlier this week and were met with immediate backlash.

They have since doubled down on their decision to sign the 32-year-old, releasing a statement which described Goodwillie as a “proven goalscorer.”

The statement was met with derision from football fans, particularly a sentence which claimed Goodwillie’s signing was a “football related decision”.

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