The island football season kicked off in fine style under clear skies on Friday evening (14 April), with eight teams in action in the first matches of the Lewis and Harris Football Association league, sponsored by Specialist Welding Services of Stornoway.
Stars of the show were Harris FC, who were boosted by wise words from football’s finest – and by support from the other side of the world.
Former Scotland, Rangers and Liverpool midfielder and current TV pundit Graeme Souness provided a pre-match pep-talk by video, wishing the team luck in their opening match against Stornoway United.
He said: “Advice – get to the ball first in every game you play. You do that, you’re on the front foot. Your game will flow from that. Best of luck. Start well tonight and I hope it’s a great season for you guys.”
The inspirational words must have had their effect, with Harris winning their home opener 4 – nil, Mathew Nightingale, Andrew Brownie Morrison, Finlay Macsween and Kenny Macsween scoring against Stornoway United.
The result meant a double celebration for one of Harris FC’s most distant fans, young Harris Scott of Vancouver Island, Canada.
Harris supports his local club, Pacific FC, who also won the opening match in their own season at the weekend, but with young Harris wearing his preferred colours, those of Harris FC in the Western Isles.
The club said: “Equally important as the words of wisdom we get from our celebrity friends is the support we get from all over the globe that makes us a special club.
“Here’s young Harris Scott from Vancouver Island in Canada who wears our colours with pride. His hometown club is Pacific FC, but he only has one Scottish team. Our fan base is growing!”
Meanwhile elsewhere in the Lewis and Harris league, Carloway lost at home to Back 0-5, with Back scorers Joel Martin (2), Seamus Murray (2) and Louis Macdonald getting their team off to a flier.
Ness were also away winners, beating Lochs 1-3, and Point started this season as they finished the last, with a home win 2 -1 over Aths – the scorers were Lewis Macleod and Ross Maciver, after Luke Morrison scored the opening goal of the match for Aths.
Tonight (Monday 17 April) sees first round cup matches for Ness v Lochs, at Fivepenny in the Jock Stein Cup, sponsored by W J Macdonald butchers, and for Carloway against Harris at Cnoc a’Choilich, in the Moldova Cup sponsored by Charlie Nicolson. Kick-offs are at 6.30pm.
The pictures show Harris supporters Graeme Souness and Harris Scott (Harris Football Club).