Touchline tribute to Clachnacuddin legend at Grant Street Park
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LEGENDARY Clachnacuddin player and manager Charlie Kennedy will always be a permanent fixture at Grant Street Park thanks to a tribute installed at the stadium’s new technical area.
The club unveiled his picture and sign installed in between the two new dugouts at the ground in honour of one of the club’s most respected figures.
Kennedy (72) who died in May last year, was known as a talented forward and ruthless in front of goal.
He helped Clach win the Highland League and Qualifying Cup in the 1974-75 season.
The season previous to that, Kennedy proved to be on fire in front of goal when he scored a staggering 63 times.
Friend and team mate Peter Corbett was behind a project to refurbish the technical area as the former dugouts no longer met the required standard.
They raised over £10,000 to create the new technical area thanks to funding from the Scottish Football Partnership and sponsor Brian Ritchie from David Ritchie and Sons.
Corbett said: “The club needed a new technical area for their club license via the Scottish Football Association.
“They had been there for 30 years but did not match the present day criteria which asks for seating for three or four backroom staff and seven substitutes. The new technical area now has seating for 12.
“We started before the pandemic and had cleared the old ones and carried out work. Brian was a good friend of Charlie and he came up with the sign idea.”
Ritchie had known Kennedy since he was a child and credited him with getting into football.
He says it was important Kennedy’s memory is remembered at a club he loved.
“It is emotional as he played a huge part in my life,” he said.
“I grew up next door to him, he wasn’t Charlie the Clach footballer, he was the guy next door who would caper with us and it wasn’t until he took us to Clach that we realised what he meant to this area.
“Once Charlie had gone, I thought that we needed
to mark his memory and that everyone remembered him.
“It was a great idea to have Charlie as part of it and I hope it gives his family pride seeing him every time they come here, he deserves 100 times more.”
Kennedy’s wife Ann says it was a tremendous gesture at a club her husband loved being part of.
“It is emotional and that is my favourite photo of him,” she said.
“He is sitting in his Clach strip with all his teammates, that was what life was about for Charlie, playing for the team and being one of the boys.”
Kennedy was a keen sportsman and as well as playing football for Clachnacuddin, he played shinty for Boleskine.