Oban sports stars to play charity football match

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Oban’s shinty stars will swap hitting the ball with sticks for scoring with kicks to raise money for charity.
Shinty players and footballers will go head to head in a soccer match on March 26 at Oban’s rugby club to raise money for DMI Cancer Trust.
Three games will take place at the We’ll Play This Game Together event, which starts at noon.
And for the first time since they won the Camanachd Cup in 1996, the trophy-winning Oban Camanachd team will get together to take on Coasters Football Club.

The Oban Camanachd team that won the Camanachd Cup in 1996.
The Oban Camanachd squad that won the Camanachd Cup in 1996.

The event was organised by Coasters player John Scott after hearing that Neil ‘Nonnie’ McInnes was unwell and unable to organise his annual sell-out charity concert.

For the past three previous years Nonnie, who captained the cup-winning Oban Camanachd team, has organised a traditional music concert, We’ll Walk This Road Together, to raise money for his charity DMI Cancer Trust – raising more than £40,000 in the process.

‘So in order to keep the charity in the public domain,’ John Scott said. ‘A couple of us came up with the idea of We Will Play This Game Together.

‘It was originally going to be one game, but because of the interest, we have opened it up and there will be a ladies game and a second match between the current, or younger, Camanachd team against anyone who is interested.’

Gareth Evans, Lochside Rovers shinty manager and Camanachd Cup winner, said: ‘It’s good. I am getting the team together. We will have about 20 players.

‘The reason we have 20 is because most of our players will be hitting 50. A few of the boys we apprehensive about it because we haven’t done anything like this for a while, but it’s for a good cause.

‘This will be the first time since we won the cup in 1996 that we will be back together.’

The only player who is missing the match is the Camanachd Cup winning goal scorer Gordon MacIntyre.

‘But everyone else will be there,’ Gareth continued. ‘It shows the support for Nonnie and the charity. It’s good to get everyone back. It should be a good day, but as long as the charity makes money, it’s a good thing.

‘Hopefully, we get a lot of folk up there. Everyone is looking forward to it.’

Organisers of the charity event have already helped to raise £1,000, but are hoping to increase that figure.

The event starts at noon with Coasters FC versus Camanachd 96, followed by Coasters Ladies versus Oban Ladies at 1.30pm and the event will finish will an Oban select team taking on a Camanachd select.

There will be something for everyone, with a bouncy castle on hand to entertain the children.

Donations can be made in person at Coasters Bar or online via JustGiving.

A raffle will also take place on the day, as well as a collection.

All proceeds raised will be split between various charities that help combat cancer such as Marie Curie Cancer Care, Oban Hospice and Cancer Research UK.