Club History

From 1885

 
Clachnacuddin - Champions 1896-97
Clachnacuddin - Champions 1896-97
Back in 1885 a man called Donald Simpson convened a meeting in his house to discuss the formation of a new team in Inverness. Caley and Thistle were already playing but Donald Simpson wanted a team of his own for the people of the Merkinch.

After several meetings a plot of land was rented from the council at the Carse not far from Caley’s own ground and all the players were local to the area. When Clach moved to their present home at Grant Street park the Clachnacuddin stone was at the entrance it has since moved to outside the town hall and it’s still there today. Clachnacuddin is derived from the gaelic and means The Stone Of Tubs. The stone was used for resting wash tubs on on the way back from the riverside.

Clach joined the North of Scotland Football Assocation in 1888 and at the first AGM the following clubs were represented: Rovers, Ross County, Caledonian, Nairn County, Crown, Thistle, Fort William and Clach.

In 1890 the North Cup was split into districts as additional teams had joined. There were three from Elgin: Rovers, Rangers Athletic and Bishopmill. These cup ties, along with the Inverness Charity Cup were the only competitive football available.

Clachnacuddin 1919-20
Clachnacuddin FC 1919-20

In 1894-95 they won their first trophy, the North Of Scotland Cup, followed by the league in the same season. After Donald Simpson departed, the club was chaired by Donald Macdonald who later became Sir Donald Macdonald and Provost of Inverness after that Sir Donald was followed by James Mcpherson, James Lyon, James Forbes and James Sinclair.

Family names connected with Clach were the Lyons, Davidsons, Mackenzie, Urquharts, and the Rodgers. Already mentioned was James Lyon as chairman and later on, Alex Lyon who gave the club many years of service. Alex played left half and outside left for clach before becoming a referee, when the clubs supplied there own refs. He carried on to serve on the committee and then became chairman and was presented with a life membership finally taking over as president of the North of Scotland Football Association.

Many people relate Morganti to Nairn after his death his widow presented the Morganti cup which is now played for as the League Cup. Before going to Nairn Mr Morganti was in business in Grant Street and served as president of the club. He was followed by John Finlayson who was at the helm when Clach won there first qualifying cup, the following year Mr Finlayson met with a tragic boating accident at the age of 38. On his untimely death Alex Urquhart took over Mr Urquhart being the father of the Jags goalie and trainer Murd. He was followed by Alex Lyon and was succeeded by Willie Robertson.

 

Next up was George B Rodgers who was in the chair until 1980 with the exception of Bob Simpson and Tom Mccardy and

Merkinch-Cup-Winners1933
Merkinch-Cup-Winners1933

after the great George Rodgers, Joe Mackenzie took over followed by ex-player and captain Ally Chisholm who married into the family and became like his mother-in-law Annie.After Ally came George Rodgers who also played centre half for the club and in 1986 came brother Duggie who also played centre half for the club.

It was on August 4th when more competitive football was introduced when the Highland League was formed and the 1st matches opened in September that year, Clach playing there 1st ever game against Camerons. The founder clubs of the Highland League were Clach, Caley, Camerons, Citadel, Thistle, Ross County, and Forres Mechanics.

Before the outbreak of the First World War, Clach had already won the league flag four years on the trot having won it eleven times out of twenty one. They first won the North Cup in 1894-95 but after 26 competitions they had won it on eight times – not too bad a start. Without club minutes its difficult to say when exactly Clachnacuddin Football Club were formed but stories go, that in 1885 a few people standing at the Lochiel corner started talking about starting a team up and so possibly this was the start of the ‘lilys’.