It was with great sadness and deep regret that Tuesday 11th June we learned that Ian ‘Sparrow’ MacDonald had passed away earlier that day at his home in Strathpeffer. Ian had been unwell for some time.
Ian was born in 1934, the third of five sons born to Alex and Cathie MacDonald. Ian spent his formative years living with his parents and brothers in the family croft at the Heights of Achterneed, Strathpeffer. Along with his brothers, the late Alasdair, and Donnie, Neil and Harry, he attended Fodderty School where he first played shinty. Due to it being during the War years there was no competitive shinty.

After the war he played for the school and then graduated to playing for the Caberfeidh Shinty Club teams. This, over the years, he did with distinction. As well as playing for Caberfeidh he was selected a number of times to play in the North v South matches for the Caol Cup in the late 1950s and early 1960s. When the Grampian Cup was first introduced the competition was played in a four district format with teams representing the North, Central, West and South. On the first occasion the competition was held Ian was one of five representatives from Caberfeidh In the North team along with the late Johnnie Sinclair, Ian Bartlett, John MacGregor and Doey Fraser. He played in a number of MacGillivray League Cup Finals including 1963 when Caberfeidh won the trophy beating Kingussie 2 – 0 in Inverness.

Ian ‘retired’ from playing a number of times but found it hard to do. After his ’retiral’ he turned out several times for the club’s second team, his last game being against Glengarry around 1990 when despite a leg injury he scored a penalty gaining a victory for the team, and thus completing in excess of forty years playing for the Club. A remarkable achievement.

After his playing days were eventually over he became a hard working Committee member assisting in any way he could. He was also immensely proud of seeing his sons, the late Donald, and Ian ‘Peachy’, playing for the Club for many years and later his grandsons Alick, Ian, Duncan, Rudi and Jodi. Jodi went on to manage the Club’s first team for a number of years after he stopped playing.

Ian ‘Sparrow’ will be greatly missed by a huge number of people both within and out with the Club, and our sympathy goes out at this sad time to his wife Margaret, daughters Shirley, Liz, Kate, Mae and Heather, and son Ian ‘Peachy’, the grandchildren, and the wider family.

Funeral details:

Cremation will be private but there will be a Service in Celebration of Ian’s life within Fodderty and Strathpeffer Parish Church on Friday 21st June at 2pm to which all friends are respectfully invited.   Donations may made at the service for Mid-Ross Community Nurses and Marie Curie.