David Goodwillie: why Val McDermid ended Raith Rovers sponsorship- who is Denise Clair and rape case explained

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Val McDermid has ceased both her lifelong support of Raith Rovers and her sponsorship of the club, following their decision to sign David Goodwillie

Yesterday’s January transfer deadline day saw the Scottish Championship club sign the 32-year-old from Scottish League One side Clyde, handing him a two-and-a-half year deal.

Goodwillie was ruled to be a rapist in a civil court case in 2016, although no criminal proceedings were instructed.

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The move has proven to be highly controversial, with many Rovers supporters making the difficult decision to no longer support the Kirkcaldy-based team.

Here’s everything you need to know about the current situation:

Why has Val McDermid ended her Raith Rovers sponsorship?

The Scottish crime writer, 66, sponsors both the McDermid Stand - named in honour of her father, a former club scout - at home ground Stark’s Park, and the club’s shirt.

Following the club’s announcement, McDermid tweeted the following message condemning the decision and announcing her attentions: “I have this morning ended my lifelong support of Raith Rovers over their signing of the rapist David Goodwillie.

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“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.”

She continued: “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. This is a heartbreaker for me and many other fans, I know.”

Tyler Rattray, captain of Raith’s women’s team, has also taken action, announcing her decision to quit the team this morning in wake of the move.

What have the club said about the deal?

Raith Rovers announced the move via their club website and social media channels yesterday evening, complete with a statement from their manager John McGlynn, which read: “I have worked with David before and he has a proven track record as a goalscorer throughout his career at every level.

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“We know from matches against Clyde in League 1 that he always carried a goal threat. Signing him, I believe, is crucial to the club’s promotion push in our quest to reach the SPFL Premiership – it is a great signing for Raith Rovers as a club, as David is the top goal scorer in Scotland.

“Every striker at the club will benefit greatly from his experience in matches and training.”

Who is Denise Clair?

Denise Clair accused both Goodwillie and his then Dundee United teammate David Robertson of rape at a house in Armadale, West Lothian, after a night out in Bathgate on 2 January, 2011.

The Crown said there was insufficient evidence to bring the case to court and the charges against Goodwillie were subsequently dropped. Robertson was never charged.

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Despite the prosecutors’ stance, the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority determined Ms Clair had been raped and awarded her £11,000.

Clair continued her legal battle, and in 2017, pursued civil action against Goodwillie and Robertson, in the first civil rape case of its kind in Scotland.

Twenty witnesses provided evidence to Lord Armstrong, who presided over the civil case. Goodwillie and Robertson admitted having sex, but said it was consensual.

But medical and forensic witnesses backed Ms Clair’s story.

Lord Armstrong ruled Ms Clair had been raped, and awarded her around £100,000 in damages.

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What happened to David Goodwillie and his playing career?

After the civil case concluded, Goodwillie left his then club Plymouth Argyle by mutual consent.

Two months later, he secured a part-time deal with Clyde, which was then made permanent.

After reviving his career in the third tier of Scottish football, he secured the aforementioned deadline day move to Raith Rovers.

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