The Day I Signed For “Raith Rovers”

It was one Sunday lunch time in 1957, we were out driving around in this little Renault Gordino, a kind of sports car which was a quick speedy thing. In the car were Vince Halpine, the Hibs Centre Half, Eddie and John my brothers, both of Falkirk, Jimmy Knox and me.

Jimmy Knox was a mining engineer he was John’s best mate and our friend. He was the driver and owner of this brand new car, hence our Sunday morning test drive. After a while and as it turned out, luckily for me, the lads decided to go to our house in Delta Crescent for something to eat

I was in the back of the car, not hungry, and couldn’t be bothered to get out. The other lads all went in through back door of the house and after they’d been in a few minutes, John came out.  He told me that the manager from Raith Rovers was in the house and wanted to sign me.

I didn’t believe him, “mickey taking” was the norm and no way were they going to make me the butt of their joke.  I stayed put. Then my mum came out and told me the same thing. I didn’t move, I really thought mum was in on it to. Next thing, this man came out, he was wearing a bowler hat and introduced himself as Bert Herdman, the manager of Raith Rovers.

This was a great moment for me, if a little bit embarrassing – I duly signed for Raith Rovers and received a £20 signing on fee. As did John and Edwin, I gave my signing on fee to my mum.  What was extra special for me was that Raith were a first division team and that my two older brothers had just been relegated to the second division with Alloa; pick the bones out of that boys.

Bert Herdman – True Gent

Whilst being on the books with Raith Rovers I had to do my National Service. When I was demobbed, I went back to Raith to re-start my professional career. At my first training session, Bert asked me to come to his office and politely thanked me for coming. After a bit of a chat, he then opened his safe and brought out a cardboard box. In the cardboard box, stacked neatly, must have been at least 30 to 40 of those little brown envelopes. They all had money in them; it was my wages for all the months that I’d been away, a humbling moment and showed just what an honourable and true gent Bert was. Thank you Mr Herdman.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You cannot copy content of this page...