‘Buteman Cup’ on show at Hampden shinty exhibition

Shinty legends Donnie Grant (Kingussie), John MacKenzie (Newtonmore), Stuart MacDonald (Lovat) and Bute resident Jock Turner (Kyles Athletic) at the opening of An Tadhal : The Goal at Hampden Park. (Pic - Ewen Weatherspoon)
Shinty legends Donnie Grant (Kingussie), John MacKenzie (Newtonmore), Stuart MacDonald (Lovat) and Bute resident Jock Turner (Kyles Athletic) at the opening of An Tadhal : The Goal at Hampden Park. (Pic - Ewen Weatherspoon)

A handsome shinty trophy donated by the owners of The Buteman almost a hundred years ago has gone on display - at Scotland’s national football stadium.

The Buteman Cup forms part of a special six-month shinty exhibition which opened at Hampden Park in Glasgow on Friday.

The trophy, put up for competition by the directors of The Buteman Ltd., was first contested in 1921.

In its latter years the trophy was the prize in a pre-season six-a-side tournament hosted by Bute Shinty Club, but in those early days the competition was played to the full 12-a-side format of the game and was open to junior teams in the Bute and Kyles area.

The inaugural tournament was contested by six teams - North Bute, Tighnabruaich, Kilfinan, Kames Juniors, Millhouse, and Colintraive and Glendaruel - with North Bute defeating Kilfinan 7-0 in the final in Rothesay on March 19, 1921.

The winning North Bute team comprised James McDougall, Rodden Shaw, John Laird, Hugh Simpson, John Shaw, Frank Shaw, John Hunter, Alexander McDougall (captain), William Hunter, Neil Shaw, Walter Duncan and John Murray.

Murray enjoyed a remarkable record in the early years of the Buteman Cup, scoring 13 goals in that inaugural tournament and winning the trophy in each of its first three years, repeating his triumph with North Bute in 1922 before joining the ranks of the victorious Kames Juniors in 1923, amassing 19 goals in seven games across those first three competitions.

Among those present at the opening of the Hampden Park exhibition on Friday was Camanachd Association chieftain and Bute resident Jock Turner, who took with him a picture of that winning 1923 Kames Juniors team, who defeated Tighnabruaich 4-2 in that year’s final.

The Buteman Cup was last contested in August 2003, when Bute’s A team of John Whitelaw, David Whitelaw, Iain MacDonald, Graham Fisher, Hector Whitelaw and James Craig defeated Kyles Athletic in the final of the six-a-side tournament; the trophy has not been played for since shinty became a summer sport in 2004.