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Val McDermid ends Raith Rovers support over David Goodwillie deal

Val McDermid ends Raith Rovers support over David Goodwillie deal

The author Val McDermid has said she will withdraw her support and sponsorship of Raith Rovers football club after it signed David Goodwillie.

The striker was ruled to be a rapist and ordered to pay damages in a civil case in 2017.

He never faced a criminal trial over the rape claim after prosecutors said there was not enough evidence.

Ms McDermid, known for her popular crime fiction novels, has been a lifelong fan of the Fife club.

She was the Scottish Championship team's main shirt sponsor but said that deal would now be ended as a result of the signing.

I have this morning ended my lifelong support of @RaithRovers over their signing of the rapist David Goodwillie. 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. 1/2

— Val McDermid (@valmcdermid) February 1, 2022
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.View original tweet on Twitter

Writing on Twitter on Tuesday morning, Ms McDermid said: "The thought of the rapist David Goodwillie running out on the pitch at Starks Park in a @RaithRovers shirt with my name on it makes me feel physically sick."

She added that she had "ended my lifelong support" of the club over the signing, and that she had cancelled next season's shirt sponsorship "over this disgusting and despicable move".

"I'll be tearing up my season ticket too," she said.

The signing "shatters any claim to be a community or family club", and that Goodwillie's presence was a "stain on the club".

"Goodwillie has never expressed a shred of remorse for the rape he committed," she said, concluding that his signing was "a heartbreaker for me and many other fans".

The captain of the club's women's team, Tyler Rattray, also said she had quit in protest.

She Tweeted: "After 10 long years playing for Raith, it's gutting I have given up now because they have signed someone like this and I want nothing to do with it!

"It was good being captain of Raith while it lasted."

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon backed Ms McDermid and Ms Rattray's stances, and said society had to have zero tolerance for sexual violence.

She applauded them for being "principled", adding: "The fact they're in this position at all reminds us that our society still has a way to go to make zero tolerance of sexual violence a reality."

BBC Scotland has approached Raith Rovers and David Goodwillie for comment.

The 32-year-old joined the Kirkcaldy club on Monday after five years at Clyde but - before the court case - he was also a Scotland striker and spent time at Dundee Utd and Aberdeen.

Denise Clair claimed she was raped by Goodwillie and another player at a flat in Armadale, West Lothian, in 2011 after a night out in nearby Bathgate.

Both Goodwillie and Dundee United player David Robertson accepted that they had sex with her but maintained it was consensual.

Police investigated the incident but no criminal prosecution took place.

Ms Clair maintained in a subsequent civil action that she had been raped by both men.

The court heard that she went in a taxi to Armadale with the players in the early hours of the morning.

She later woke, naked, in a strange house and had no recollection of events from shortly after she arrived at a pub the previous evening.

Lord Armstrong ruled in a judgement that because of her "excessive intake of alcohol and, because her cognitive functioning and decision making processes were so impaired" that she "was incapable of giving meaningful consent, and that they each raped her".

He ordered them to pay her £100,000 in damages.

It was the first civil rape case of its kind in Scotland.

'Disregard for survivors'

Rape Crisis Scotland said it was "surprised and disappointed" that Raith had signed Goodwillie

It said the move sent "a clear message of disregard to survivors of rape and sexual violence".

"Footballers are role models - particularly for young people - and it's not okay to have someone in this position who has been found by a senior judge to be a rapist," the organisation added.

It said the "bad decision" sent "entirely the wrong message, and it should be withdrawn".

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