David Goodwillie released by Raith Rovers as club issue statement eight months on from controversial signing

Raith Rovers have released David Goodwillie eight months after sparking national outrage over their controversial decision to sign the player who was found to be a rapist.

The Kirkcaldy club faced a ferocious backlash from fans, sponsors and politicians after announcing they had acquired the shamed striker from Clyde on the final day of the January transfer window.

It followed a civil court case in 2017 which ruled that Goodwillie, alongside his then-teammate David Robertson, had raped a 24-year-old woman in a flat in Armadale, West Lothian in 2011.

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His arrival at Stark’s Park prompted a raft of resignations among board members and club volunteers and led to main sponsor Val McDermid withdrawing her support, while the women’s side also severed ties with the club.

David Goodwillie attended a Raith Rovers match after signing for the club in January but never played for them.
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The matter reached Holyrood with First Minister Nicola Sturgeon also urging Raith to reconsider their position as the signing controversy sparked headlines across the UK and abroad.

After initially doubling down and insisting the player was signed on football merits, Raith eventually performed a U-turn and insisted the former Dundee United, Aberdeen and Scotland striker would not play for them.

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He was loaned back to Clyde but did not play for them after facing a similar backlash from fans, with the club’s stadium owners, North Lanarkshire Council, banning him from the ground, despite him having featured for the Cumbernauld side for the previous five years.

Rovers have now confirmed that he is no longer on their books in a short statement on their official website which read: “The club can confirm that David Goodwillie has been released from his contract with immediate effect. The club will make no further comment.”

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