Bestselling novelist ends sponsorship of team over signing

Jan 31, 2022, 3:49 PM | Updated: Feb 1, 2022, 5:51 am

KIRKCALDY, Scotland (AP) — A bestselling novelist has ended her sponsorship of a second-division football team in Scotland over its signing of a player who was ruled by a judge in 2017 to have raped a woman.

Crime writer Val McDermid slammed Raith Rovers’ decision to sign David Goodwillie on Monday as a “disgusting and despicable” move that “shatters any claim to be a community or family club.”

Goodwillie, a 32-year-old former Scotland international, and an ex-teammate at Dundee United, David Robertson, were ordered to pay damages of 100,000 pounds ($135,000) to a woman they raped, a judge ruled in a civil case in an Edinburgh court in 2017. No criminal charges were brought against either Goodwillie or Robertson.

Goodwillie left English team Plymouth following the ruling and has played for Clyde in Scotland’s lower two divisions since then.

McDermid, who has sold more than 17 million books, was a Raith director and her name is on the front of the team’s home shirts.

She wrote on Twitter she would be ending her lifelong support of the team.

“Goodwillie has never expressed a shred of remorse for the rape he committed,” she wrote. “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.”

In a later post, McDermid wrote: “The thought of the rapist David Goodwillie running out on the pitch at Starks Park in a Raith Rovers shirt with my name on it makes me feel physically sick.”

She said it was “a terrible day not just for Raith Rovers but for women who support football.”

“The beautiful game just turned very ugly in Kirkcaldy,” McDermid added.

The captain of Raith’s women’s team, Tyler Rattray, announced she was quitting playing for the team after 10 years because of the signing of Goodwillie.

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon described the responses of McDermid and Rattray as “principled — though difficult for both of them.”

“But the fact they’re in this position at all,” Sturgeon said, “reminds us that our society still has a way to go to make zero tolerance of sexual violence a reality.”

Raith is fourth in the Scottish Championship and in contention to get promoted to the Scottish Premiership.

Signing Goodwillie, Raith manager John McGlynn said, was “crucial to the club’s promotion push.”

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


More AP soccer: and

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Team World's Jack Sock, left, and Felix Auger-Aliassime react during a match against Team Europe's ...
Associated Press

Auger-Aliassime, Sock cut Team World’s deficit at Laver Cup

LONDON (AP) — Felix Auger-Aliassime and Jack Sock came back to beat Andy Murray and Matteo Berrettini 2-6, 6-3, 10-8 in the last doubles match of the Laver Cup on Sunday, cutting Team World’s deficit against Team Europe to 8-7. Murray, who owns three Grand Slam titles, was treated by a trainer after cutting his […]
1 day ago
Canada's Nirra Fields, right, runs past Japan's Saori Miyazaki during their game at the women's Bas...
Associated Press

Bec Allen gets hurt as Australia beat Serbia 69-54

SYDNEY (AP) — Bec Allen was instrumental in Australia’s 69-54 win over Serbia scoring 16 points on Sunday in the World Cup. But her status for the rest of the tournament is in question after getting hurt in the fourth quarter. Allen was diving for a loose ball in front of the Australia bench when […]
1 day ago
Kenya's Eliud Kipchoge crosses the line to win the Berlin Marathon in Berlin, Germany, Sunday, Sept...
Associated Press

Kipchoge clocks 2:01:09 for world record in Berlin Marathon

BERLIN (AP) — He’s done it again. Two-time Olympic champion Eliud Kipchoge bettered his own world record in the Berlin Marathon on Sunday. The Kenyan star clocked 2 hours, 1 minute, 9 seconds to shave 30 seconds off his previous best mark of 2:01:39 set on the same course in 2018. “My legs and my […]
1 day ago
Associated Press

Eliud Kipchoge clocks 2:01:09 for new world record in Berlin Marathon

BERLIN (AP) — Eliud Kipchoge clocks 2:01:09 for new world record in Berlin Marathon. Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
1 day ago
Boxer Floyd Mayweather of the U.S. throws a punch against mixed martial artist Mikuru Asakura of Ja...
Associated Press

Mayweather Jr. easily wins by knockout in Japan exhibition

SAITAMA, Japan (AP) — Floyd Mayweather Jr. easily knocked out his opponent in the second round of an exhibition match in Japan Sunday, said he had fun and promised to be back next year. “I’d like to thank the whole country of Japan,” the 45-year-old boxing legend, who won all 50 of his professional fights, […]
1 day ago
Associated Press

Cordeiro, Robinson lead San Jose St. past W. Michigan 34-6

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — Chevan Cordeiro passed for 250 yards and two touchdowns, Kairee Robinson had 13 carries for 71 yards and two TDs to help San Jose State beat Western Michigan 34-6 Saturday night. Cordeiro finished 17-of-28 passing with no interceptions and added eight carries for 30 yards. Justin Lockhart had 116 yards […]
1 day ago
Bestselling novelist ends sponsorship of team over signing