Gordon Brown may be embroiled in a battle for control of the Labour party and a quest to become Prime Minister but it was revealed last night that he has spent hours of his valuable time in the past week guaranteeing that the football club he supports bagged themselves a new defender.
Raith Rovers, wallowing near the foot of the Scottish Second Division, announced yesterday that they had signed Marvin Andrews, a Trinidad & Tobago World Cup defender who was playing Champions' League football last season with Rangers. Brown is a lifelong Raith fan, and a club shareholder, and personally met Andrews to persuade him of the club's ambition.
"Gordon Brown has shown a lot of drive and determination to make this deal work," said Raith's manager, Craig Levein. "Gordon probably doesn't want a mention but his involvement was important to show the commitment at board level."
Andrews, a devout Christian, was released by Rangers in the summer, and had offers from several clubs, including Reading. He turned them down because Reading is too far from his church. Raith are based in the Fife town of Kirkcaldy, where Andrews preaches at the Zion Praise International Church.
"It was a pleasure for me to talk to [him]. He is a very nice and generous man," said Andrews of Brown
Andrews added that his decision to sign was ultimately influenced by an altogether more exulted figure than the Chancellor of the Exchequer. "My main decision was what God told me. I am back here [he played for Raith between 1997 and 2000] because God wants me here. It is simple. Many clubs came in for me but God never said anything to me. This is the place God wants me to be."