Denise Clair: Woman court ruled was raped by David Goodwillie says Scotland's outrage is years too late

Scotland’s outrage around footballer David Goodwillie has come many years too late, the woman a civil court ruled he raped has said.

It comes after a week of public outcry following the player’s signing to Raith Rovers.

But speaking to the Sunday Post, Denise Clair said Goodwillie’s continuing football career after having been ruled a rapist is a disgrace to the sport and a stain on Scotland.

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Goodwillie was found to have raped Ms Clair by a civil court in 2016, and ordered to pay £100,000 in compensation.

Photo by Mark Scates / SNS GroupPhoto by Mark Scates / SNS Group
Photo by Mark Scates / SNS Group

He then returned to his career with Clyde football club.

Ms Clair, 30, said all those who had allowed him to continue to play at a senior level despite his lack of remorse for rape should feel “ashamed”.

"Of course people should be outraged and scandalised that a man like that was about to play for Raith Rovers but he has never stopped playing,” she said.

"He was picked for Clyde four days after judges rejected his appeal and confirmed he raped me. That was four years ago and that’s when people should have been outraged and scandalised.”

She added: “David Goodwillie has already shown he is shameless but everyone who helped him carry on his career without a word of remorse should be feeling ashamed today.”

Ms Clair said all of Goodwillie’s “excusers and enablers” should feel ashamed, adding: “Football should feel ashamed. Scotland should feel ashamed.”

Scotland is still failing to curb or properly punish male violence against women, Ms Clair said.

She said those who enabled Goodwillie include club directors who welcomed him to their club despite him being ruled a rapist, teammates who played beside him, supporters who cheered his goals, fans who sang obscene songs about her and posted on social media threatening to attack her again, and sport authorities and politicians who did nothing.

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Ms Clair said that while the First Minister was right to speak out against Goodwillie’s signing to Raith Rovers last week she “did not remember” her saying anything four years ago when he returned to play for Clyde.

"I certainly do remember and still appreciate the very few politicians who did their best to raise it and being met with indifference,” she said.

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"I’m glad Val McDermid spoke out last week but Goodwillie’s continuing career was not some secret that has just been exposed.”

She added: “I have to ask why it has taken so long for people to stand up and say all the things that are now being said?

"This is about more than him, it is about sexism and misogyny and women being listened to and having their voices heard.”

A past campaign from the Sunday Post trying to stop Goodwillie playing for Clyde was backed by politicians including the then leaders of the Labour, Conservative and Liberal Democrats parties, Richard Leonard, Ruth Davidson and Willie Rennie.

The issue was raised at Holyrood, and MSPs met with the football club and Lanarkshire council, which owns the grounds where Clyde played.

"They got nowhere. Only football mattered, rape victims didn’t,” said Ms Clair.

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