Members of Kingussie Camanachd club were saddened to hear of the death this week of Alistair ‘Alta’ Borthwick. He was considered to be one of the most skilful forwards who ever played shinty for Kingussie, and he captained the club in 1955.
His shinty career started successfully when he captained the Kingussie U17 team to victory in the Mactavish juvenile Cup in 1949. Then in 1955 he captained Kingussie first team to their first ever victory over Newtonmore in a final, when they won the league cup 4-0 in Inverness.
Alistair’s finest season for Kingussie, however, came in 1961 when he played a huge part in bringing the Camanachd Cup back to Kingussie after an absence of 40 years. The Kingussie club brought him back from England for the quarter-final against Newtonmore and he scored all 3 goals in a 3-1 victory. In the semi-final he again scored a hat-trick in a 5-3 win over Kilmallie. The 1961 final is one of the greatest days in the history of Kingussie Camanachd Club, and Alistair scored the opening goal in a 2-1 win over Oban Celtic.
During his working life he was a plumber and after he returned from working in England he was a partner in a local plumbing firm for many years. He died in Raigmore hospital on Monday evening 20th May, 2013 surrounded by his family and is survived by his wife Mary and eight children. All 5 of his sons are exceptional shinty players and all played for, and captained, Kingussie. There have been many occasions when his 5 sons all played in the same Kingussie team including Camanachd Cup Finals. At present 5 of Alistair’s grandchildren play for the club at different age groups including granddaughter Rachel who was the first girl to captain a Mackay Cup winning team. The shinty world will remember him as one of the most skilful players who ever played, and he will be sadly missed. A minutes silence will be held before this weekend’s premiership game between Kingussie and Newtonmore at The Eilan.