Alan Temple

DC Thomson

Within this submission are three article which are illustrative of my — and The Courier’s — coverage of one of the UK’s biggest sports and news stories of 2022.

The signing of David Goodwillie, a Scotland international footballer branded a rapist by a civil court judge, threatened the very existence of Raith Rovers FC and led to 16 major figures or organisations severing ties with the club. The first article was the exclusive story Bill Clark’s resignation from the Raith Rovers board of directors in protest. A former chairman of the club, his departure was the maiden departure in the wake of the story, and remained one of the most high-profile exits. As global news sources, including CNN, ESPN and Fox Soccer, reported events at Stark’s Park, The Courier sought to develop the story and illuminate readers with in-depth features and insight. The second submission tells the inside story of the deal to take Goodwillie to Raith Rovers in unparalleled detail — pinpointing the driving forces behind the move, those opposing it and how the chief executive Karen Macartney was powerless to stop it. Finally, the third piece is an interview with John Sim, the owner of Raith Rovers and their Stark’s Park home. The conversation was a rare insight into the publicity-shy businessman — attained through years of cultivating contacts — and proved to be an agenda-setting conversation. Sim confessed that his first instinct during the backlash was to fold the 139-year-old football club out of sympathy for the rapist striker, sparking outrage among Raith’s fanbase and beyond. These three articles were supplemented by other works, including a detailed analysis of Raith’s finances amid the costly error and a deep-dive with employment lawyer Jack Boyle which addressed how the club could cut ties with Goodwillie. The scandal sparked newsroom collaboration at its best, with our comment team delivering a ground-breaking column from women’s rights campaigner Marie Penman on how speaking out about Goodwillie cost her the job she had with Raith Rovers Community Foundation. The Courier’s crime and court team produced the definitive explainer article on the landmark civil case brought by rape victim Denise Clair, who waived her right to anonymity after the Crown decided against prosecuting Goodwillie and his former Dundee United team-mate David Robertson.