Players, officials and supporters of Elgin City paid a moving tribute to a club legend ahead of their game against league leaders Arbroath at Borough Briggs on Tuesday evening.
All stood to deliver a one-minute applause in memory of Innes MacDonald who enjoyed unrivalled coaching success with the club. Mr MacDonald died recently in Dr Gray’s Hospital in Elgin, he was 85.
Innes was the architect behind Elgin City’s greatest triumph when coach of the club in the Highland League in the 1960’s, helping them to national acclaim after a remarkable run in the Scottish Cup in the 1967/68 season when City became the first Highland League side to reach the last eight in the national competition.
A Glaswegian, he moved to Moray to take up a PE teaching post at Elgin Academy in 1957 and remained there until he retired in 1991. His wife Anna died in 1997 but he has been survived by children Colin, Allie and Kelly, three grandchildren and one great-grandchild.
He was the first person to come into the Highland League as a club coach, paving the way for the modern-day tactical coach and working with both Elgin City and Nairn County to bring through thousands of talented young footballers.
The tribute at Borough Briggs was particularly poignant as Elgin took on Arbroath, the side Elgin took on in the last 16 of that famous Scottish Cup run. A record Borough Briggs crowd of almost 13,000 saw his team defeat then high-flying first division side Arbroath 2-0 for one of the club’s most famous victories.
After leaving Elgin City Innes took charge at Nairn County and led them to their only Highland League triumph in 1976.
Last night Elgin City paid their own tribute to their former coach, saying: “Elgin City Football Club would like to extend their condolences to the family of Mr Innes MacDonald following his recent death.
“Mr MacDonald was Trainer/Coach from 1965-1969 and on the Selection Committee from 1969-1970, he was a familiar face around Elgin City Football club over the years and will be missed by many.”
A struggling Elgin City, currently at the foot of the SPFL League 2, rallied under new manager Jim Weir to win a point with a last-gasp equaliser from leading striker Craig Gunn.