DOUGLAS MACKINTOSH MBE (1930 – 2017) memorial medal
A new award for “Player of the Match” in the Under 17 London Shield Final has been presented for the first time to one of shinty's most promising young players. The Douglas MacKintosh memorial medal was presented at the final of the London Shield Final which was played at Drumnadrochit on 3rd Nov 2018. The first recipient was Skye Camanachd player Ruaraidh MacLeod who received the medal from Dougie’s widow, Ann MacKintosh. The medal will be presented annually in memory of one of shinty's most distinguished players, administrators and representatives.
Douglas Mackintosh, or “Dougie Dhai” as he was almost universally known in the shinty world, gave outstanding service to the administration of the sport which is such a central element in the culture of the Gaelic-related population of Scotland and in particular his home area of Newtonmore.
His first memory of shinty, he recalled himself, was the purchase of a new caman for his ninth birthday in Inverness for the hefty sum in the late 1930s of twelve shillings and sixpence.
After a relatively late start in 1947 due to his National Service in the Camerons, Douglas had a reasonably successful playing career in the game culminating in a Camanachd Cup Winner’s medal in 1958, but cut short by injury thereafter. In his native village, he served for 12 years as a Committee Member of Newtonmore Camanachd Club and as Secretary and eventually Chieftain, the principal office from 1972 to 1975. He first entered the Executive Council of the Camanachd Association, the ruling body of shinty, in the 1970s and he was a central figure in what was arguably the most significant decade in the sport in the 20th century, serving for more than 30 years.
A member of the newly-founded Shinty Yearbook committee in the early 1970s he was closely involved in every key development of the time, some truly ground-breaking such as the Shinty Forum (1974), the initial forays into major sponsorship deals, the Referees’ Association as Founding President in 1974 and the Aviemore Indoor Tournament of which he was the principal architect and Chairman for 20 years (1978-1998). He served as Referees’ Convener after 1981 and then as President of the Camanachd Association from 1985 to 1990. He was thereafter Vice-Chief and became Chief in 2000, the 'elder statesman' Honorary office in the game.
Born in Craggan and brought up in Newtonmore, Douglas exemplified the best traditions of that community and its shinty club, claiming the most illustrious honours record in the game of shinty. He was Dux of Newtonmore School (for all that he was the only one in the class at the time, he was very proud of the fact) and an active member of Newtonmore Youth Club before his National Service in the Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders at Fort George. As far as shinty is concerned, he did it all as a player, a referee and an administrator. While he would never have numbered himself amongst the playing greats of the village, he achieved all the cup-winning medals possible at Junior and Senior levels before an eminently more influential period and performance as a referee. He ultimately earned a reputation as one of the outstanding refereeing officials in the history of the organised sport. He officiated in every major final event, including two Camanachd Cup Finals and, in particular, an outstanding 5-5 drawn Shinty/Hurling International between Scotland and Ireland in Glasgow in 1976.
As President of the Camanachd Association, he shared the notable responsibility of establishing since 1988 the current series of the International engagements in which Scotland has been successful against all the expected odds.
Douglas Macintosh received the MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List in 2000 for his services to shinty. Soon after, in 2002, his contribution to the game itself was further recognised when he became the fourth recipient of the Marine Harvest Centenary Award.
Douglas’ career in sport led to many unique achievements, winning it is believed every competition possible as a player; officiating at every cup final possible including, probably uniquely for a north-based official at the time, the Celtic Society Cup final; officiating at every pitch there was at the time, and holding, it is thought, every significant administrative post in the game.
His record will not be replicated.