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03rd Feb 2022

Raith Rovers confirm David Goodwillie will not be selected, apologise for signing him

Wayne Farry

The club had announced the signing on Monday, and faced widespread condemnation

Raith Rovers have apologised to fans for the signing of David Goodwillie, and confirmed that the 32-year-old will not be selected for the club.

The move follows a defence of their decision to sign him despite facing criticism from supporters and and players associated to the club.

Goodwillie joined on a permanent deal on deadline day, despite being accused of rape by Denise Clair in 2011 alongside former footballer David Robertson.

After the Crown declined to prosecute, Clair – who waived her right to anonymity – launched a civil case against the footballers.

In what was the first civil case of its kind in Scotland, a judge sided with Clair and ordered the pair to pay £100,000 damages.

Clair reiterated that she was unable to provide consent because of her alcohol consumption, but Goodwillie and Robertson claimed that intercourse had been consensual. An appeal by the pair was later dismissed in 2017.

The signing of Goodwillie provoked widespread anger, with Raith’s women’s captain Tyler Rattray announcing that she would be stepping down and leaving the club as a result.

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon also condemned the move.

On Thursday, club chairman John Sim admitted the club got it wrong in signing the player, and said they had “focused far too much on football matters”.

Sim wrote in a statement: “I firstly want to apologise wholeheartedly to our fans, sponsors, players and the wider Raith Rovers community for the anguish and anger caused over the past few days.

“We got it wrong.

“In reaching our original decision, we focused far too much on football matters and not enough on what this decision would mean for our club and the community as a whole.

“Over the past couple of days, we listened carefully to the fans who have got in touch and I’m very grateful for their honesty. As chairman, as a board and as a management team, we have all learned a hard but valuable lesson.

“This very unfortunate episode is something that we all bitterly regret and we are now wholly committed to making things right. I can therefore confirm that, following a meeting of the Raith Rovers board, the player will not be selected by Raith Rovers and we will enter into discussions with the player regarding his contractual position.

“We share a desire to do what is best for our club and will be doing everything in our power to regain the trust and confidence of the Raith Rovers family.”