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Death of Kingussie's shinty and community legend Donnie Grant


By Tom Ramage

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Shinty Memories Scotland has paid tribute to Donnie Grant MBE, one of the organisation’s two ambassadors, who died in a care home on Tuesday afternoon having lived with dementia for a number of years.

Mr Grant, who was 84, contributed greatly to the development of the SMS network, working alongside his fellow ambassador and great rival on the field of play John MacKenzie MBE, to highlight the caring nature of the shinty community and its wish to support people living in situations of loneliness and having to cope with other mental issues.

Donnie Grant and the Macpherson caman, as filmed in 2019
Donnie Grant and the Macpherson caman, as filmed in 2019

John MacKenzie said: “Without doubt Donnie Grant was one of the giants of our game in the second half of the 20th Century and his impact on shinty in Kingussie and beyond has not yet been fully acknowledged.

"Only the passage of time will do that.

"He was a fantastic player, administrator and leader of men, and this was no more so seen than in how he transformed shinty in many respects with modern ways of coaching and match preparation.

"He met every challenge he faced with remarkable fortitude and we will miss his twinkling eye at meetings and his sound advice when helping us understand how he was dealing with his health issues.

"He was a remarkable man in all the areas of life he involved himself with, whether that was professionally before he retired at Holland House the electrical supply company, in shinty as his MBE and a string of other awards testified, and in his work with various community projects locally after he 'retired'.

"We will all miss him terribly but that is as nothing to the loss felt by his family Jan, son Ross and daughter Noreen. "We also remember his late son Donald, who meant so much to the family.”

Donnie (12) scoring in 1961 Camanachd Cup Final versus Oban Celtic at Fort William. Kingussie won 2-1 to win the Camanachd for the first time in 40 years
Donnie (12) scoring in 1961 Camanachd Cup Final versus Oban Celtic at Fort William. Kingussie won 2-1 to win the Camanachd for the first time in 40 years

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