A few weeks ago I wrote about the Ronnie Coyle benefit match at Stark’s Park (see below), which was a genuinely great occasion to be in the stand for.
Although he didn’t kick a ball, Coyle seemed energetic and upbeat, joining the players on the pitch with his family and waving to fans after the trophy presentation.
So I, like Raith Rovers fans everywhere, was shocked and extremely saddened to hear about his death a week ago, at the age of just 46.
Even more than his involvement in some of Rovers’ most celebrated matches (and I won’t mention what happened in Munich), I believe it was Ronnie Coyle’s warm, humble, self-effacing outlook that so endeared him to fans and players alike.
The Raith Rovers website has posted this tribute to Coyle, which features an interview filmed on his big day just three weeks ago, in which he reaffirms his love of the club and gratitude for all the support.
There’s been a lot of hype about the crucial Fife derby this Saturday, which could effectively decide the destination of the First Division title.
Like every other Raith fan, I’ve been letting myself get a bit carried away with the talk of sell-out crowds, local rivalries and promotion prospects.
But at full-time, no matter the result, I’m going to try to take a moment to remember that it’s just a game.
Football’s not more important than life and death, despite the saying.