Everyone at Carloway Football Club is deeply saddened by the passing of former player Ronnie Mackinnon at the age of 83. Ronnie’s mum Annie was from 3 Upper Carloway and brought the family back home to Carloway for summer holidays in the 1940s and 1950s.
Ronnie and his brother Donnie loved the annual trips to the island and would regularly be found both fishing and playing football around the village. Their talent soon caught the eye of Angus Massie Macaskill, the Carloway manager, leading to both Ronnie and Donnie playing for Carloway in the 1959 football season. Ronnie spoke to the club about this recently saying ‘It was great. I can remember there being a big crowd and the atmosphere was brilliant. Football has always meant a lot to the people in Carloway and you could feel the connection at the games. It was exciting for me as a young man.’
Ronnie would sign for Rangers the following year and would go on to make 487 appearances for the Glasgow club as well as gaining 28 caps for Scotland. Following his brilliant career in Scotland, Ronnie would move to South Africa where he played for Durban United. On a return visit to Lewis in 1979, Ronnie agreed to play for Carloway in a Lewis Cup semi-final against Ness in Fivepenny despite not being fully match fit. A great gesture and show of loyalty by Ronnie and, although he couldn’t prevent a defeat, he gave Carloway great hope.
Ronnie and his wife Elizabeth would return to the island permanently in 2005, settling in Point but maintaining strong links with his old club and Ronnie was present when Carloway won their first ever league title in 2013.
The players, committee and fans at Carloway FC pass on their condolences to Ronnie’s wife Elizabeth, his brother Donnie, his sister Anne and the rest of his family at this sad time. Ronnie was a great man and will always be fondly remembered by the Carloway community.