The Caman Connection

Camanachd Cup Final in 1973 courtesy of the Donald MacKay Shinty Archive

The 2021 shinty season may well be delayed from its projected start this weekend, but a newly commissioned series of five reflective interviews with shinty legends will serve to whet everyone’s appetite for what is to come this summer.

The Caman Connection has been commissioned by Shinty Memories Scotland and will launch this weekend on Saturday March 6. Former Scotland captain, musician and BBC presenter, Gary Innes takes each contributor back to some of their glory days and to start off, this weekend is talking to John “Squashie” MacFarlane, currently a resident of Tunbridge Wells, and notably a key member of Glasgow Mid Argylls’ famous Camanachd Cup winning team in 1973. The five interviews will be broadcast consecutive weeks during March and into April.

In the first interview, Gary takes John on an hilarious trip down memory lane from his earliest experience of shinty in Argyll, in Taynuilt, Oban and beyond, culminating in his experience at Claggan Park when Mid Argyll won the Camanachd Cup for the only time in its history.

There are tales of the Bees Knees and trips to Alicante, and of the infamous Alister Forbes haircut on the evening the Camanachd Cup was won.  John also reveals some of his own musical interests as he entertains Gary with his recollections of the past.

Gary said: “I have always loved blethering and listening to old stories and when you then add in my passion of shinty to the mix, it seemed like the perfect combination to merge them all together. It’s already been hugely rewarding to work on The Caman Connection and to get a glimpse into the sport from the various areas and times from the people who lived it and were an integral part of their club’s history has been wonderful. If you’re a fan of shinty at all then I highly recommend you have a listen to some of these incredible stories from yesteryear.

The next two interviews to be broadcast will be with Kingussie legend Ian Ross and Kilmallie’s Derek Fraser who was a member of Kilmallie’s Camanachd Cup winning team in 1964. The identities of the other two interviews in the series will be revealed in due course

The Caman Connection interviews will be available on all podcast streaming services, including Spotify from midnight on Friday 5th and links will also be made available from Shinty Memories Scotland social channels.

David MacMaster, Chair of Shinty Memories Scotland said:  “These interviews are important in a lot of ways.  Firstly, they are archival in that they record the reflections of some great characters and important individuals in our sport. The interviews will be of interest to people who may or may not know the individuals and that they will also be important for archival use, as part of the record of the game in various areas.  They will stand the test of time and we hope that we will be able to develop the series beyond the first five, depending on how resources become available.”