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Tributes paid to the 'Laird of the Bught Park' who has died aged 96


By Louise Glen

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Denis Swanson, Montague Row, Inverness, celebrates his 95th birthday. Picture: Callum Mackay
Denis Swanson, Montague Row, Inverness, celebrates his 95th birthday. Picture: Callum Mackay

Tributes are being paid to an Inverness shinty stalwart who has passed away.

Denis Swanson, of Montague Road, has died aged 96.

It is understood that Mr Swanson had been ill for a short time and passed away at home.

Behind the trophy, Denis Swanson as Torlundy Cup winning captain in 1951. he scored the winning goal against Oban Celtic.
Behind the trophy, Denis Swanson as Torlundy Cup winning captain in 1951. he scored the winning goal against Oban Celtic.

Last year, on his 95th birthday – Inverness Shinty Club arranged for 95 birthday cards to be delivered to his home.

And club officials also decided to name a new trophy after Mr Swanson dubbed the Laird of the Bught Park by broadcaster and shinty historian Hugh Dan MacLennan.

Mr Swanson, born in the coach house of the old Bught Hotel, near where the ice rink now stands, first graced those beloved Bught pitches with caman in hand as an Inverness High School pupil before World War II.

Denis Swanson.
Denis Swanson.

In peacetime, he quickly became a first team mainstay and helped Inverness achieve their one and only moment of Camanachd Cup final glory in 1952.

Prominent in the earlier rounds, he was unlucky enough to be injured in the semi final and missed the famous 3-2 victory over Oban Camanachd in Glasgow, but received a winners’ medal.

Denis Swanson (second from left) at an Inverness sale of work in aid of club funds.
Denis Swanson (second from left) at an Inverness sale of work in aid of club funds.

He finally hung up his playing boots at the age of 45 in 1975, but continued for many years as steward, supporter, committee member and referee.

At the time of his birthday last year, Camanachd Association president Keith Loades said: “Few have given as much to the sport of shinty as Denis.”

Denis swanson (far left front).
Denis swanson (far left front).

On Shinty Memories Scotland, a Facebook page, a tribute read: "One of Inverness’ greatest and best known shinty stalwarts Denis Swanson has died.

"He was 96 and passed away during last night (Wednesday 30th).

"Denis had been ill for a short time and died at home. A remarkable man who was an ever present at the Bught Park and in its environs, he will be sadly missed for his vibrant personality and fund of stories about the history of shinty in the town and beyond."

Denis Swanson, Montague Row, Inverness, celebrates his 95th birthday. Picture: Callum Mackay
Denis Swanson, Montague Row, Inverness, celebrates his 95th birthday. Picture: Callum Mackay

Inverness shinty club, confirming Denis’ passing said: “This is yet another sad blow for the shinty community and the town and Denis’ family in particular. Denis is one of those people who simply always seemed to be there and it wil be very difficult to come to terms with the fact that he will no longer be with us.

"He contributed so much to our efforts.”

"The sympathy of the whole shinty community is extended to his wife Maureen and the wider family."

READ: Inverness shinty legend celebrates his 95th birthday with cards from city primary school players


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