Tributes have been pouring in for Carloway FC great Iain ‘Tiger Ghebhin’ Macarthur who sadly passed away yesterday at the age of 83.
Iain was born in Shawbost in March 1939 and brought up in a blackhouse in the village. He attended Shawbost School, leaving at age 15 for his first job as a blockmaker before leaving to start weaving after a year.
Iain was in the cadets as a youngster but he soon become obsessed with football. His Uncle Norman was a right back and was nicknamed Tiger after the Rangers right back Tiger Shaw. Iain would inherit the nickname and it was his Uncle Norman who would take him down to watch Carloway games as a boy. By 1954 and aged 15, Iain was starting for Carloway FC and he became a key figure at inside right in the successful team of the 1950s winning the D’Oyle Carte and Tormod Mor cups in 1956 and the Stornoway Cup in 1957 alongside great players and friends including Norman ‘Brot’ Macarthur, DR Macleod, Larry Maciver, Angus M and Angus Hamma.
Brot would become an even closer part of Tiger’s life when Tiger married Brot’s sister Dolly Anne in 1965. By this time, Tiger was working at Shawbost Mill where he would work for 23 years before transferring down the road to the mill in Carloway.
The 1960s were a more difficult time for Carloway FC but Tiger stuck by the team and was a significant, stabilising figure when Carloway dropped out of the league in 1965 and were replaced by Western Thistle. He played for Thistle right through to 1972 and played his last game at the age of 33. Tiger and Dolly would have seven children and Angus, Norman, Calum, Chrissie, Alastair, Iain and Morag would keep him busy throughout the next couple of decades.
Tiger wasn’t a great spectator but he was proud that Alastair, Iain and Norman would go on to play for Carloway and would closely follow their progress. His son Calum and his wife Diane are long-term supporters of the club and no doubt kept him up to date with results.
Tiger would go on to work as janitor at the new Shawbost School and is remembered fondly by many pupils from across the Carloway and West Side areas. In recent years, a new generation of Macarthurs have represented Carloway and Tiger was proud to see grandsons Cameron, Owen, Daniel and Scott all playing for the club.
A fine legacy for a fine man.
Everyone at Carloway FC passes on their condolences to the family.