Bonar Bridge Football Club

The club -reinstated in 2018- has exciting plans to update the clubhouse facilities.

What memories does the name Bonar Bridge Football Club bring back for you? It might be that you yourself once played for the team? That once you played against them (your leg still twinges from that dodgy tackle you received 30 years ago!). You may remember walking up to the Migdale grounds as a young teen with your mates to watch a game or enjoying after game drinks with the team in the Lady Ross or the Caley one Saturday – once you’d turned 18 of course. Through the Highlands and in particular the Creich and Kincardine community, fond memories are evoked at the mention of the Football Club. Established in 1968, it was a vital part of village life, competing in the North Caledonian League for 35 years before ceasing in 2010.

Now as you may have seen and heard locally, Bonar Bridge Football Club is experiencing something of a regeneration. Six years ago, local parents came together to begin a children’s training session on a Friday evening using the clubhouse as its base and training on the Migdale park. These training sessions have steadily grown, expanding now to two sessions each Friday evening, one for P1-3s at 5:30pm followed by a P4-7 session at 6:30pm. These sessions provide local children a much-needed opportunity to participate in physical activity with friends and a chance to mix with children from other schools, whilst being walking distance from home or a short drive for parents. Prior to the sessions beginning in 2014 the closest opportunity for that kind of training was in Tain or Invergordon. Over the years, as word of the training sessions has spread, children from other areas have joined us, coming from Lairg, Dornoch and surrounding areas.

In 2018 after being approached by some local lads and identifying a community desire for an adult team, The Bonar Bridge Football Club reinstated the team, which re-joined the North Caledonian League for the 2019/2020 season. BBFC Seniors and BBFC Juniors were formally linked and overseen by the same committee of volunteers. If last season was hard then this season has been harder. The additional restrictions the pandemic has enforced on us all have been hard to deal with, although we have been hugely fortunate that the North Caledonian League has been able to go ahead. We haven’t been able to have the same community involvement we enjoyed last season. Restrictions are put in place at matches for spectators, the teams can’t mix and obviously there are no post-match soup and sandwiches back at the Bridge after the game.

Fundraising effort

The committee will not let this deter us though, we are looking forward to a time (hopefully in the not too distant future) when we can encourage huge community participation. We can’t wait for normal match days where we can provide tea and coffee to spectators, put on a raffle, have a chat to people stopping by to watch the game and let visiting teams make full use of the facilities. With that in mind we have launched a fundraising effort to refurbish the existing clubhouse facilities, the majority of which haven’t been updated for over 40 years, making it safe for the whole community to use. We hope to replace windows, shower facilities, upgrade the kitchen and replace flooring throughout, to name just a few things.

As part of our efforts we asked local residents or anyone with a memory of the football club for a letter of support. You did not disappoint! We received over 200 letters from people who think Bonar Bridge Football Club means something to the community, some from children as young as five, others from their grandparents, folk that enjoy watching the games and folk that remember playing in them. Our applications are in now, we are currently waiting to hear what will happen next, but from the Bonar Bridge Football Club as a whole, age 5 to 105, we would like to send a message of thanks to you all, for taking the time to support us and remembering that community spirit.

by Carrie Vetters

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