Former Sutherland Cup trophy given new lease of life

In an extraordinary display of generosity and commitment to promoting excellence in sports, Dr. Hugh Dan MacLennan has donated a prestigious trophy to be awarded to the Player of the Match in the highly anticipated Highland Industrial Supplies Sutherland Cup Final. The trophy will be presented to the winning player after the final whistle and they will keep it in their possession until the next final, similar to many of the other Player of the Match awards throughout shinty such as the Albert Smith Medal.

The Highland Industrial Supplies Sutherland Cup Final, scheduled for September 9th, stands as one of the most highly regarded fixtures in the shinty calendar, showcasing the outstanding skills and sportsmanship of exceptional athletes. The final, brings together teams from across the country, representing the pinnacle of junior shinty in the country. The 100th anniversary final will be taking place at Blaribeg Park, Drumnadrochit. Sir William Sutherland, who donated the Sutherland Cup and indeed the new Man of the Match trophy that Dr MacLennan has acquired,  was a Scottish civil servant, Liberal Party politician and colliery owner. He was closely associated with Prime Minister David Lloyd George and was a Minister in the post-war coalition government.

The well-crafted trophy, embodying elegance and strength, symbolizes the pinnacle of achievement and will serve as a lasting testament to the skill, determination, and outstanding performance of the Player of the Match.

“I have always felt that the MOM in the Sutherland Final should get an award and to retain this trophy for a year, complete with the enhanced base and silver bands added by Roddie MacLennan of Aird Artisans in Inverness, seems to be a fitting way to mark the Sutherland centenary and my own retirement year.” said Dr MacLennan who purchased the trophy 10 years ago for nearly £100. “I held onto it looking for a use and decided the 100th anniversary of the main trophy would be a good point to re-introduce it to shinty. It was advertised a shinty trophy for shinty introduced in 1905. The silver hallmark is confirmed as London 1905 but there are no references to be found so far for when it might have been played for. However, there are press reports in 1921 and 1922 of Sir William Sutherland attending events in Argyll and presenting a shinty trophy.  Not the main trophy either I would say. So, this could either be the Argyll one or there may even be a third Sutherland Cup.”

The recipient of the Player of the Match award will not only be honoured with this remarkable trophy but will also etch their name into the annals of shinty history.

Dr MacLennan’s generous contribution to the Shinty Sutherland Cup Final reinforces his commitment to the sport, the players, and the community. It highlights the importance of recognizing and celebrating the talent and dedication demonstrated by these athletes, inspiring the pursuit of excellence and instilling a sense of pride in shinty enthusiasts across Scotland.