Ian "Cloogies" Forbes, Beauly

Ian Forbes Beauly 1933 - 2019.  

The village of Beauly and the wider shinty community were saddened to learn of the death of Ian Forbes who recently passed away on the Isle of Lewis.  

Ian was equally well known by his nickname “cloogies”, a name bestowed upon him as a youngster after he took to wearing a pair of clogs. A pair of clogs in post war Beauly would have been a rare sight but they made little difference to Ian who developed into not only an outstanding shinty player but an all-round athlete as well as a footballer of note.  

Ian came through the village school which at the time was a Junior Secondary and before leaving to start work as an apprentice painter with a local firm he became school sports champion. After leaving school his prowess at field sports continued to flourish and his family recollect that he won the Scottish Juvenile Long jump championship.  

But it was at shinty that he will be best remembered for in a sporting sense.  

In the post war era Beauly had gone into a decline and had receded into the junior ranks.  

But the club’s fortunes were to be swiftly restored as an outstanding group of youngsters led by the enthusiastic Josey MacLean soon began to make their mark.  

In 1952 the Sir William Sutherland Cup was won for the first time and by 1957 Beauly’s name had been added a further three times. The Strathdearn Cup was also won four times in that period.  

Ian was at the heart of the team which eventually turned senior in the late fifties. Camanachd Cup success eluded the side however although they came close, reaching the semi-final on two occasions.  

Current club Chieftain Don Fraser, a team mate of Ian’s, remembers his ability comparing his style to that of the great Johnny Campbell of Newtonmore.  

“I have very fond memories of Ian. I would say that he was one of the top half dozen players ever to represent the club. As a forward he had tremendous pace and had great ball control as well as a terrific shot. He scored many important goals for the club”.  

Ian loved the sport but never sought the limelight and when his playing days were over the idea of serving on a committee did not appeal although he took a great interest in the progress of the team.  

He was a very personable individual and had a lightness of touch which endeared him to all and although he settled in Inverness he remained a popular figure in the village. In his latter years he retired to Lewis with his wife Christine who was a native of the island.  

He was laid to rest in Carloway in Dalmore Cemetery beside his beloved Christine who had pre-deceased him in 2018 and he is survived by his brother Donnie who lives in Dingwall.

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