From Canada to Kirkcaldy: How to fall in love with a football club from afar

When starting TadeFromTwoYards, I wanted to make sure that it's a place where all Rovers fans rather than being the view of person. As with all football clubs, a wide range of people share a common interest and interact regardless of age, gender and nationality. Many exiles will use services like Raith TV to keep track of the club and watch games from across the globe.

For clubs like our own, it is a rarity for someone with no connection to Fife to follow the Rovers. Usually "fans" of overseas clubs will default on to one of the clubs in the English Premier League - typically Arsenal, Liverpool or Manchester United (with the occasional hipster type going for a West Him or Aston Villa). The obvious candidates to sweep up fans in Scotland are the Old Firm. But over the last few years, Steve MacLeod of Edmonton in Alberta, Canada discovered and kindled a love of Kirkcaldy and in turn Raith Rovers.

So how did a man, who is closer to an Airdrie next to Calgary rather than Coatbridge, end up supporting our club? Steve agreed to send over a piece which he had previously contributed to the matchday programme following two trips across the Atlantic to visit the club.


Steve on one of his visits to Stark's Park

I’ve been asked many times “how did you become a Raith Rover supporter “? . This is a fair question based on the fact I live in Canada and have no “roots” in Kirkcaldy . In 2003 my wife Allison and I where proposing moving to Scotland (that dream has ended). I immediately started researching potential places to consider. My passion for coaching ice hockey led me

to discover the rich history of the Fife Flyers and the great junior program. Research discovered they played in Kirkcaldy. This was a town I (we) where not familiar with. On to the Google search! This provided us with valuable insight to the Lang Toun (and how to pronounce Kirk cod ee). Raith Rovers were the local pro football team. Back to Google!

Why “Raith in Kirkcaldy? – the battle of Raith – love the history behind the name. Have to admit I loved the logo as well. With this discovery I immediately found the Raith Rovers Chat board. This was the hook – following the fans passion for the team, the quirky things that go on in lower league Scottish football. My Saturdays where spent trying to find out how the team was doing (not easy back then). My dream came true when it was announced Raith Rovers Abroad where going to broadcast the home games!

Then came a new service Raith TV. What a pleasure being able to see what I was hearing every week. The service has continually gotten better. The crew at Raith TV are amazing, I spend every Saturday morning (8 AM here in Edmonton) listening or watching. This season has taken the broadcast to a new level: it's a very professional broadcast – so thankful to the Raith TV Crew.

The actuality of seeing Raith Rovers live was realized in 2017 when Allison and I planned a trip to Scotland for the month of April. We worked our way around that amazing country by car with the only real plan was to be in the towns Raith were playing Saturday. Our first game was at Falkirk Stadium then East End Park to witness the derby vs The Pars and finally the hallowed ground at Starks Park. I had contacted Andy Mill prior to us coming. The day started with a tour of Starks Park, then into the 200 club (what a great space!) prior to the game vs. Morton. The people where so welcoming. Prior to the game I was interviewed by Gordon Adamson pitch side, never expected that in a million years. The South Stand fans even cheered this – I will never forget that moment! The day was completed by a 2-0 victory over Morton.

Fast forward to March 23 2019 . Allison and I thought I’d be great to go back to Scotland. Once again the Raith Rover experience was special with another win , 4-0 Vs Dumbarton ! We hope to get back over again once this pandemic goes away. We have such amazing memories to hold us over. I am so proud to be a supporter of this wonderful club. COYR !!

Steve MacLeod – Edmonton , Alberta Canada

Twitter: @MacLeodSteve

Special thanks to Andy, David, Davie, Neil, Niall, Gordon , 200 Club ,staff at Starks Park

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