Strathglass Shinty Club are privileged to present a player of the match award for the Balliemore Cup Final in memory of their Founding Father and the first Chief of the Camanachd Association, Captain Archibald Chisholm of Glassburn.

Captain Archibald Macra Chisholm was born in July 1825 in Strathglass, son of Dr. Stewart Chisholm, R.A, and Mary Macra of Kintail.

He studied for some time at St. Sulpice in Montreal before receiving a commission in the Black Watch at the age of 16. He joined the regiment in Malta in 1843 and saw further service in Bermuda, Nova Scotia and Crimea before leaving the Black Watch in 1855 having passed to the rank of Captain.

In 1853 Captain Chisholm married Miss Mary Frances Lynch and they settled in Glassburn, Strathglass after he left the Black Watch. He served as Justice of the Peace for the area and quickly became a pillar of the Strathglass community.

Captain Chisholm was a bagpipe player of note and played at a dinner of the Highland Society of London and performed at such a high standard he was immediately elected a member of this prestigious society.

As a fluent Gaelic speaker, Captain Chisholm was a renowned member of the Gaelic Society of Inverness and for thirty years he was a judge at the Northern Meeting Piping Competitions.

It is however for his contribution to shinty that Captain Chisholm will be most remembered, especially his links with Strathglass Shinty Club and the Camanachd Association.

Captain Chisholm’s place in the history of our sport is unrivalled and he was the Founding Father of Strathglass Shinty Club in 1879 and an author of the first rules of the sport in 1880.

Captain Chisholm led out the Strathglass team when these rules were notably used in the first match between the old firm of shinty, Strathglass and Glen Urquhart, at the Bught Park, Inverness in front of a crowd of 3,000 in February 1887. The match was 22 a side on a pitch which measured 300 yards by 200 yards.

Captain Chisholm went on to cement his place in the sport by being one of the founders of the Camanachd Association in 1893 and was elected as the first Chief of the Association.

Captain Chisholm passed away in October 1897 and will be remembered as man who was embodied in piping and the language of Gaelic and all things connected with Highland life including his beloved game of shinty, a sport which owes a great deal to his drive and vision.

Speaking about the award, Darren Reid, President of Strathglass Shinty Club said; “As a club we are delighted to present the player of the match award for the Balliemore Cup in memory and recognition of our club’s Founding Father, Captain Archibald Macra Chisholm of Glassburn. We felt it was appropriate to mark the 125th anniversary of the passing of Captain Chisholm in a fitting way and as Strathglass were the first north winners of the Balliemore Cup in 1986 it made sense to present this award in his memory.”

The inaugural winner of this Man of the Match award was Beauly’s Ryan MacKay in 2022.