A Scottish professional football club has won a legion of new fans over 2,000 miles away from the town in which they are based - thanks to their new strip.

Raith Rovers have released their new 2023/24 away kit, which commemorates 100 years since the 1923 team were shipwrecked on their way to play in the Canary Islands.

The new strip bears the same distinctive yellow and blue colours worn by UD Las Palmas, a football team based in Las Palmas on the island of Gran Canaria. 

As well as that, a small map of the Spanish archipelago is also depicted on the bottom left-hand corner of the jersey. 

"The shirt was designed by a local fan who took care to incorporate important but subtle elements, such as the map and the date of our tour in 1923," Ruaridh Kilgour, a director of Raith Rovers, told Madrid sports website Relevo. 

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The tour of 1923 saw Raith Rovers make headlines across the globe when they became the first football team ever to become shipwrecked.

Following an overseas tour in Denmark in 1922 - the club’s first major overseas venture - arrangements were made for a number of friendly matches in the Canary Islands the following year.

The travelling party consisted of thirteen players, who were joined by five club directors and their manager, James H Logan. They boarded the SS Highland Loch, a 7,493-ton steamer belonging to the Nelson Steam Navigation Company.

The steamer was initially bound for Spain, where the team would disembark, and then proceed to Argentina. The ship’s other cargo was a consignment of chilled beef.

As part of the plan, The Rovers’ party was to spend a night in Vigo, Spain, where they would watch a bullfight while the Highland Loch was replenished.

Afterwards, they would reboard the steamer to continue their journey to the Canary Islands, where a total of six games had been arranged.

However, disaster would strike on the morning of Sunday July 1, as the Highland Loch sailed towards Cape Finisterre on the west coast of Galicia.

The ship collided with rocks, requiring everyone onboard to be evacuated by lifeboat.

Amidst the chaos, there was no panic among the Stark’s Park players, who would be commended for demonstrating remarkable composure and bravery in ensuring that women and children were safely guided into the lifeboats before they themselves evacuated the ship.

The collision saw the Highland Loch’s bow badly ruptured, a bulkhead wall torn by 18 yards, and its port-side bilge keels ripped clean away.

Some passengers were towed to the port of Corrubedo, while others ended up in the village of Vilagarcia de Arousa.

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Thankfully, there were no significant injuries reported, and the Highland Loch was patched up for the travelling party to reboard and be towed to Vigo.

The shipwrecked players then resumed their voyage to the Canary Islands aboard the Darrow, a South American line ship, with a stopover en route in Lisbon.

During their tour of the Spanish archipelago, the ‘remarkable’ Raith Rovers side secured six wins out of six, defeating sides Real Vigo (twice), Victoria Porteno, Gran Canaria and Victoria Marino.

Two of the sides Raith faced would later fuse to form UD Las Palmas and Real Vigo. 

Among the players to feature on the 1923 tour were David Morris; who captained Scotland while playing for Raith Rovers, Alex James; who was part of the famous “Wembley Wizards” Scotland team that defeated England 5-1 at Wembley and Tom Jennings; who went on to become the third-highest scorer in the history of Leeds United.

The team is also remembered for their fourth placed finish in the Scottish Division One season in 1923–24, their highest ever finish.

The new jersey has sparked huge interest among football fans in the Spanish archipelago since it was launched last week.

On Tuesday, the club gained 500 new followers from the Canary Islands and sold 30 shirts from their new support.

Meanwhile, UD Las Palmas, who were promoted to the top tier of Spanish football, La Liga, last season, have requested that they sell the new away shirt in their club shop.

The club has also extended an invitation to Raith Rovers to take part in a friendly match in Gran Canaria next summer.

"Commemorating the trip after 100 years has a special meaning for us. We believe that it is essential to remember the team and their triumphs in the matches they played during their tour of the Canary Islands”, Kilgour said.