Tributes from Inverness Shinty Club and across the Highlands paid to “Laird of the Bught Park” Denis Swanson, deceased at the age of 96

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

TRIBUTES are paid to a pillar of the shadows who has passed away.

Denis Swanson, of Montague Road, has died at the age of 96.

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

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

Last year, on the occasion of its 95th birthday, the Inverness Shinty Club arranged for the delivery of 95 birthday cards to its home.

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

Mr Swanson, born in the shed of the old Hotel Bught, near the current location of the ice rink, first graced these beloved Bught grounds with a caman in hand as a high school student of Inverness before WWII.

Denis Swanson.
Denis Swanson.

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

Prominent in the previous rounds, he had the misfortune of being injured in the semi-final and missed the famous 3-2 victory over Oban Camanachd in Glasgow, but was awarded a winner’s medal.

Denis Swanson (second from left) at an art sale in Inverness to benefit club funds.
Denis Swanson (second from left) at an art sale in Inverness to benefit club funds.

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

On his birthday last year, Camanachd Association president Keith Loades said, “Few people have given to the sport of Shinty as much 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’s biggest and best-known Shinty pillars, Denis Swanson, has passed away.

“He was 96 years old and passed away last night (Wednesday 30).

“Denis had been ill for a short time and passed away at home. A remarkable man who was always present at Bught Park and its surroundings, he will be sorely missed for his vibrant personality and his collection of stories about the history of shinty in the city and beyond.

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

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

“He has contributed so much to our efforts.

“The sympathy of the entire Shinty community extends to his wife Maureen and the whole family.”

READ: Inverness’s Shinty legend celebrates 95th birthday with city elementary school player cards


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