Raith Rovers Football Club was established in 1883. The club draws its name, Raith, from a vague historical association with the region of Fife from Kirkcaldy (where the club is based) to Lochgelly.
Throughout their history, the Rovers have won the second tier on five occasions and have appeared in the Scottish Cup final once, losing 2-0 to Falkirk in 1912/13. The club reached the final of the 1948/49 Scottish League Cup, but experienced another 2-0 loss, this time to Rangers. The club would have to wait until 1994/95 League Cup final to receive their first and only major honour to date, defeating Celtic 6-5 on penalties after ending extra time 2-2.
The Rovers first used a badge on their kits during the 1912/13 season. This early badge included a lion rampant holding a belt buckle, the latter of which being derived from the Kirkcaldy coat of arms. A variation of this badge was used until the 1949/50 season, when the Scottish royal coat of arms, featuring a yellow shield with a red lion rampant, was used to mark the Rovers’ promotion to the Scottish top tier. The following season, the more traditional badge returned to the kit.
By the 1960s, crests became less popular in Scottish football in favour of calligraphic club initials. A new badge was used intermittently between 1976 and 1985, when another badge came into use. By 1998, the traditional badge was again reinstated and some variation of this badge has been used ever since.
For years I assumed, having only seen the badge at a relative distance or in a low resolution, that the Rovers’ insignia was a depiction of a horse holding a globus cruciger (Latin for ‘cross-bearing orb’), a medieval symbol representing the authority of Christ or Christianity over the world. For my redesign, I sought to make both the lion rampant and the buckle more identifiable. I have also included the club’s name within a banner, which resembles the Scottish Football Association crest used until 2012. This is also a call back to the 1949/50 season, when the Rovers were promoted to the top tier and their badge was nearly identical to that used by the Scottish national team.
The home kit is inspired by the Rovers’ home kits from 1950 to 1954, in particular, the kit worn during the 1953/54 season. The away kit is a hooped version of the Rovers’ traditional red away colour scheme.
As ever, I am indebted to Dave at Historical Football Kits for some of the historical information used above.