Raith Rovers and the Highland Loch

1 Leave a comment on verse 1 0 Once upon a time it seems,
A Raith Rovers football team
Sailed several thousand miles,
To play on the Canary Isles;
Twas early in last Century,
1922 or ‘3,
Aboard the good ship ‘Highland Loch’,
But she began to roll and rock…

2 Leave a comment on verse 2 0 Next they had a frightful scare,
Getting near Cape Finisterre,
Because there was a grinding sound,
As though the ship had run aground;
The Captain shouted out “Hoots Mon!
We’d best all put life jackets on!”
Then came shudders, bumps and thumps,
While sailors ran to man the pumps…

3 Leave a comment on verse 3 0 “Abandon ship!” the Captain cried,
“Launch th’ lifeboats o’er th’ side,
Get yerselves into those boats,
Hold on t’ anything that floats!”
Some local Spanish fishermen,
Were nearby and guided them
To a harbour safe and sound,
Relieved to be on solid ground…

4 Leave a comment on verse 4 0 Meanwhile the ‘Highland Loch’ so brave,
Went not to a watery grave,
Because she finally ran aground
In shallows outside Vigo town;
Raith Rovers then resumed their trip,
Sailing on another ship,
They left behind the coast of Spain
To brave the ocean once again…

5 Leave a comment on verse 5 0 Travelled the remaining miles,
Won every game upon the isles,
Then returned to Scotland’s shores,
And some football fame because
Old Raith Rovers I suspect
Is the only team that’s been shipwrecked,
Though they did not drown in the sea,
Instead went down in history!



1. Some sources give the date of this incident as 1 July 1922, while others say it happened in 1923.
2. Spanish La Liga club Celta Vigo was founded in 1923, around the time of the Raith Rovers ‘shipwreck’ incident. Given that the Rovers players and officials resumed their journey from the port of Vigo and received assistance from people in the area, an annual pre-season match between the two clubs for a ‘Highland Loch Trophy’ would be a nice gesture on the part of the Scottish club.

Editor Note : Football Poets Nostalgia Poem of the Week.

Nice one Llew. Thanks for bringing this remarkable tale to our attention.in verse. There’s a great pic of Raith Rover in the Canaries in 1923 after their shipwreck ordeal on out Facebook page.

Source: http://footballpoets.org/poems/raith-rovers-and-the-highland-loch/