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A new shinty field dedicated to the late Fort William junior shinty player Fraser MacPhee has been officially opened.
The new pitch, the first in the area for many years, was declared opened on Saturday by Fraser’s parents Duncan and Rosemary MacPhee, writes Iain Ferguson.
An area of waste ground adjoining the main pitch at An Aird has been transformed into a purpose-built training pitch which meets requirements for junior league shinty matches. It is one of only a few shinty parks in the Highlands to have floodlights.
In recognising the long-term commitment to the club by the MacPhee family, both on the board and on the pitch, it was proposed by club members to name the new field after Fraser, a highly talented and well respected player, with friends across the shinty world.
Unveiled by Mrs MacPhee, a sign carries a message for all using the field and for everyone participating in any sport: ‘For when the one great scorer comes to mark against your name, it matters not if you won or lost, but how you played the game.’
For several years a north/south junior tournament, organised by the family, has been held in Fraser’s memory and it is hoped the new field will provide a home for this in the future.
The pitch has already been used by youngsters participating in the Shinty Street League and following the opening, a Fort William v Kilmallie Under 14 league match was played. After a hard fought battle, it was won by the home side.
At half time, an inscribed black caman with silver fittings was presented to Sandy Slater by Fort William Shinty Club for his work in securing £200,000 from various bodies, including the European Leader Fund, which allowed the project to go ahead.
Members of the MacPhee family who attended the opening of Fraser’s Field. Photograph: Iain Ferguson, alba.photosNO F31 Frasers Field 01
The first league match to be played on the newly-opened Fraser’s Field was an under 14 tie between Fort William and Kilmallie. Photograph: Iain Ferguson, alba.photos NO F31 Fraser’s field 02
Richard Gall, left, of Fort William Shinty Club presents an engraved black caman to Sandy Slater in recognition of the work he did in securing funding for Fraser’s Field. Photograph: Iain Ferguson, alba.photos
NO F31 Frasers Field 03